(photo credit: PR)
Facebook launched its new mobile application, “Facebook for Every Phone,” on
Wednesday based on software developed by Israeli start-up Snaptu Ltd., which
Facebook acquired for $60-70 million in March.
This was Facebook’s first
acquisition in Israel.
The application provides fast and easy access to
simple mobile phones (i.e. not smart phones, such as iPhones and Androids) that
lack advanced operating systems. The application provides a Facebook news feed,
messages box, events, alerts, requests for friendships, images, a members’ list,
personal profile, and general search function. These features already existed in
Snaptu’s application, which continues to manage the software itself.
features were added to the Facebook application: adding friends from the list of
contacts in the mobile phone or by SMS or e-mail to an individual; and a link to
Snaptu’s application store.
It is not clear why Facebook waited four
months to launch the new application, which is almost identical to what Snaptu
had already developed, as both target regular mobile phones.
plans to promote the application for 2,500 models of mobile phones, in order to
boost the number of users with Internet access. There are 250 million such
Facebook has reached agreements with 20 mobile operators in 13
countries, including the UK, India, Turkey, Germany, and Indonesia. It is not
known yet if Facebook has an agreement with Israeli mobile carriers. Facebook
will subsidize users’ access cost via the application for three months, in order
to encourage them to use it as part of their Internet access
Facebook’s launch of the mobile application is important for the
social network to compete against Google Inc.’s entry into the field through its
recently launched Google Plus. Google has developed a Google Plus application
for the Android smart phone, which will soon become available for iPhone as
well, and also enabled access to Google Plus from other mobile phones.