Feeds

Facebook goes lighter than Lite

Yes, it's Facebook Zero

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

MWC Facebook is introducing a lower-than-low-bandwidth way to get aboard its überpopular social-networking service.

None too surprisingly, it's called Facebook Zero.

According to a the BBC, the service is essentially a text-only version of the Facebook service designed for areas where mobile bandwitch is near-nonexistent - which, as one wag at Inside Facebook put it, ranges "from someone in an especially rural part of Siberia to an iPhone user in downtown San Francisco."

The new service was introduced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona by Facebook's Chamath Palihapitiya, who has the thoroughly Web2.0rheic title of Vice President of User Growth, Mobile, and International Expansion. Although he provided scant detail, the service will be offered to carriers as an inducement to get their customers to trade up from basic service to a "premium" data plan when they want to move beyond mere text to such niceties as photos.

Facebook Zero login

Facebook Mobile (left) is up and running, while Facebook Zero (right) awaits carrier adoption

Facebook already has low-bandwidth services that supplement its main browser-based offering: Facebook Lite, Facebook Mobile, and a version of the mobile app optimized for touchscreen phones other than the iPhone and those built on the Android OS, which have their own native Facebook apps.

The new Facebook Zero will be lighter than Lite and provide mobility to more users than Mobile. Not that Facebook is lacking in mobility. The company recently announced that out of its 400 milion users, 100 million access it from a mobile service each month.

Facebook zero will presumably be offered for free to mobile carriers, and seeing as how it's designed to help them up-sell their data services, we predict it will be a popular offering when it's released in coming weeks.

Don't try to access it quite yet, though. Since it was just announced today, carriers haven't yet jumped aboard this premium-data-plan-inducing gravy train. But they will. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.