Facebook – the social media juggernaut now worth an estimated $50 billion – has released a new mobile application for feature phones.
“We want people to have a great mobile experience no matter what type of phone they carry,” writes Mark Heynen, a program manager at Facebook. “Smartphones have offered better features for sharing with friends but aren’t used by most people around the world.”
According to Heynen, who announced the app’s launch on the Facebook Blog, the Facebook for Feature Phones app works on more than 2,500 devices from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG and other manufacturers, and it was built in close cooperation with Snaptu.
“The app provides a better Facebook experience for our most popular features, including an easier-to-navigate home screen, contact synchronization, and fast scrolling of photos and friend updates,” Heynen says.
Facebook officials are currently working with mobile operators around the world to help users enjoy the app without paying for any data charges. To date, Facebook has secured deals with 14 mobile operators who are offering free data access when using the new Facebook mobile app during the first 90 days.
“During the next few months, we plan to make the app available through more carriers in other countries so you can have a great mobile Facebook experience no matter what device you use,” Heynen adds.
Facebook boasts more than 200 million active users worldwide across all of Facebook’s mobile products on all platforms – an increase from 65 million year-over-year.