Feeds

Facebook goes lighter than Lite

Yes, it's Facebook Zero

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.