Facebook has just announced it is launching a new mobile site at http://0.facebook.com designed specifically to ensure speedy access to all of Facebook’s features.
The twist? It’s completely free to access. Zero data costs. Surely this is a first.
Collaborating with operators from around the world, Facebook has focused on ensuring (from the Facebook blog):
- It’s fast: 0.facebook.com includes all the key features of our standard mobile site m.facebook.com. Users can update their status, view their News Feed, like or comment on posts, send and reply to messages, or write on their friends’ Wall just as they do on Facebook.com. Rather than making photos viewable on 0.facebook.com, we put the photos one click away so they don’t slow down the experience. You can still view any photos on Facebook if you want but your regular data fees will apply.
- It’s free: Thanks to the help of mobile operators we collaborated with, people can access 0.facebook.com without any data charges. Using 0.facebook.com is completely free. People will only pay for data charges when they view photos or when they leave 0.facebook.com to browse other mobile sites. When they click to view a photo or browse another mobile site a notification page will appear to confirm that they will be charged if they want to leave 0.facebook.com
The site bears a distinct resemblance to the now terminated Facebook lite, whether it’s merely a port of it who knows but irrespective it’s a genius of an idea from Facebook to ensure virtually anyone irrespective of wealth and location should be able to access the service. Fantastic stuff from a company that has taken a great deal of heat in the last few weeks and a move that’s bound to leave many a competitor (what’s left of them) stunned.
Of course, as you’ll see below, Facebook hasn’t completely covered the world, nor has it partnered with every network out there but bear in mind this has just launched and no one, at least in my knowledge, has done this before.
The company has partnered with 50 countries and networks that currently have access to the site and is also signing deals to bring the site to carriers in Australia, El Salvador, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Qatar, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Cameroon and Guinea Conakry.