Facebook for the people: New app to bring Facebook to every mobile phone
The new Facebook for SIM app means users can get Facebook access from any phone, not just the upmarket brands. This could be a significant boon for the social networking site, enabling it to gain tractions in markets where people cannot afford smartphones.
Developed by Gemalto, an Amsterdam-based digital security group, the app runs on the SIM card, not the phone. It will give users access to all of the text-based services on Facebook, including status updates, friend requests, wall posts and messages.
‘What we are offering is an application that works on any phone, even if you don’t have a WAP browser. This will work on any kind of phone. You don’t need a data plan to run this application. You don’t have to configure your phone. You just put the SIM in the phone and a Facebook-enabled application will open up, said Jean-François Schreiber at Gemalto.
According to Gemalto, access would be free for the first 15 days, before the network would step in and charge a flat fee for a fixed number of days. The app works by dividing messages into 160 word sections and sending them via SMS to a gateway controlled by Gemalto. Their server then interacts with the Facebook servers to update individual’s profiles.
There are more than 5 billion GSM connections in the world, according to the GSM Association. Facebook has over 500 million subscribers.
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