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Facebook Debuts Mobile App for Feature Phones

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January 20, 2011

Facebook Debuts Mobile App for Feature Phones

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Die hard Facebook users who want to check their social network account even when they are not in front of a computer will now be able to do just that. Yesterday, Facebook (News - Alert) announced the release of a mobile app specifically designed for feature phones which are are defined as a less costly version of Internet compatible phones that crush the number of smartphone users in countless countries.

Similar to the Facebook App for iPhone (News - Alert) and other advanced smartphones, this app was designed for an easy experience and the ability to simply scroll through recent status changes and brand new uploaded pictures.

While most citizens in the U.S., Europe, and Asian countries are smartphone users, most other countries are only able to support feature phones. Recognizing the need for a nuts and bolts version of the real Facebook,  a mobile website was created last year for use with basic technology phones and a much slower version of the Internet. This app version is specifically targeting these users with more graphic options.

A large number of handset models, approximately 2,500, from multiple vendors including Ericsson (News - Alert) and Nokia will now be able to use this newly launched app. Facebook is not immediately offering this app everywhere,  as it will initially only be carried by nine carriers, but eventually will be available to 14 carriers around the entire world. Some of the first countries to be able to experience this new app will be Ukraine, Poland, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dominican Republic, Romania and Saudia Arabia. Carriers in India, Bulgaria, Brazil, and Canada will have access to the app shortly after.

Initially¸ Facebook announced 50 carrier partners in 40 countries would have the opportunity to be eligible for at least 12 months of free data use through the mobile site. Eric Tseng stated at a conference last July that Facebook’s largest growth engine is Mobile. When this statement was announced, the company had about 150 million mobile users out of a total of 500 million members, he said.

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Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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