Facebook announces free mobile service

Facebook has announced the launch of a new free-to-use mobile service. If you navigate on over to http://0.facebook.com on your mobile device you will find a lite version of the current mobile site. This site is free to use if you are lucky enough to be on one of the following combinations of country and operator: 

If your carrier on the above list, browsing Facebook on your mobile phone will be completely free, and no charges will be made to your monthly statement.

Although the UK is not currently on the list, it is expected to be added in the near future pending deals with the local operators.

Whilst the site is a "slimmed down" version of the full mobile site, it provides access to all the key features of Facebook and focuses on the speed of the site. This is an attempt to conquer two of the main problems facing mobile internet claims Facebook, "When using the mobile internet, people around the world face two main challenges – sometimes the experience is too slow to be fun and the cost of data plans and understanding them can be daunting,"

Facebook does note however, that you will be charged if you leave the site to view photos and other items.

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It is the same version that any mobile user can see on http://m.facebook.com with the difference that using http://0.facebook.com with the above providers, you will not be charged for the 3G/GPRS data transfer. I visited it with my carrier, (WIND Greece) and indeed, a message appears on the top of the screen, saying that the navigation is free.

Me want Australia At the moment my data allowance is 250 MB, which is kinda sux - which explains why I turn off my Twitter and Facebook account on my mobile

:: Lyon :: said,
Me want Australia At the moment my data allowance is 250 MB, which is kinda sux - which explains why I turn off my Twitter and Facebook account on my mobile

Who are you with? Three have free data for m.facebook.com
Luckily I got onto a promotion they had last year and am on the $49 cap + 3GB data for $39

I've yet to have a contract here in the UK WITHOUT unlimited internet access and I've tried several combinations of providers and phones

cooky560 said,
I've yet to have a contract here in the UK WITHOUT unlimited internet access and I've tried several combinations of providers and phones

Yea, this isn't really news for us spoiled countries were unlimited rates are cheap anyway. I am sure that the places that don't have that are thrilled though.

They tied up with the worst networks in India, almost nobody uses Videocon. Few use Reliance but the majority of folks are on Airtel or Vodafone. Wut were they thinking?

sibot said,
They tied up with the worst networks in India, almost nobody uses Videocon. Few use Reliance but the majority of folks are on Airtel or Vodafone. Wut were they thinking?

If "almost nobody uses Videocon", less they have to dish out as it will likely draw new customers to that service.

Hope O2 support it. They are a awesome UK network. But atm it says not supported when using it on O2. But if they don't I'll just use Snaptu and my free Internet PAYG tariff

Three UK announced FREE Facebook to all Pay-G customers via the http://0.facebook.com from 22nd April 2010.

There is a page on the Three site that supports that but the dates are not there. ( Iwas trying to post the link but didnt get thru, so.. )

three.co.uk -> Internet and Sevices -> Under Social networks click on Facebook. There look on the right side for the FREE FACEBOOK details.

Free 0.facebook.com

0.facebook.com is Facebook's 'lightweight' version of their mobile site. Its free to access, but doesn't have all the features of the normal mobile site. Because the site is made up of text and doesn't have any images you won't be able to view any photos - but it loads up on your phone really quickly. Go to 0.facebook.com on your phone's browser to try it for free.


windowspczone said,
No surprise that theirs no UK carrier! All the carriers in the UK just want as much money as possible!

Though, to be fair, it's already free to visit the mobile site on Orange Contract & Pay As You Go in the UK =/

Good thing for Belgium, as nearly nobody here has data on their plan, or it's extremely expensive (€2/MB). Shame that nearly nobody has BASE, and MVNO's of BASE do not get access.

mad_onion said,
So this only for people living back in the olden days who don't have unlimited internet contracts.

Stop living under a rock... there are many countries in the world that don't have mobile plans that offer unlimited data.

mad_onion said,
So this only for people living back in the olden days who don't have unlimited internet contracts.

We have one mobile operator in the UK who offers a truly unlimited data plan to iPhone users only... its not exactly like unlimited data is a common thing in the majority of places.

mad_onion said,
So this only for people living back in the olden days who don't have unlimited internet contracts.

Or for students like me, who are unsupported by their parents. A contract is definitely not an option, although it would be nice.

Pauleh said,

Or for students like me, who are unsupported by their parents. A contract is definitely not an option, although it would be nice.

Thats what student loans are for. ><

SputnikGamer said,

Thats what student loans are for. ><

Yeah, with the amount I'm given, I'm really rolling in the riches. /sarcasm

DeathLace said,

Stop living under a rock... there are many countries in the world that don't have mobile plans that offer unlimited data.

Interesting, considering that in the US, supporters often point abroad to illustrate what ideal data services look like.

I found this interview with Yochai Benkler of Harvard to be interesting as it talked about issues like Net Neutrality and global broadband access: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2010/04/benkler_on_net.html

mad_onion said,
So this only for people living back in the olden days who don't have unlimited internet contracts.

Or people on pay as you go?

Pauleh said,

Yeah, with the amount I'm given, I'm really rolling in the riches. /sarcasm

How much are plans over there? I currently have a plan that costs $50 a month giving me unlimited data and texting and 1800 minutes a month plus free calls after 6. Being a student and in class or work most of the day before 6, I rarely use more than 700 or 800 a month anyway. I can get a new student loan for every semester so every six months, if i needed to anyway, I could easily pick up a 300-400 dollar student loan to cover that one bill.

SputnikGamer said,

How much are plans over there? I currently have a plan that costs $50 a month giving me unlimited data and texting and 1800 minutes a month plus free calls after 6. Being a student and in class or work most of the day before 6, I rarely use more than 700 or 800 a month anyway. I can get a new student loan for every semester so every six months, if i needed to anyway, I could easily pick up a 300-400 dollar student loan to cover that one bill.

I have a "family" plan with my gf and we get:
- 400 shared minutes (unlimited after 9pm or between our 2 phones)
- 1GB of data (shared)
- unlimited txts

all that for $100.... kinda depressing lol, we just got caller ID and that was $8 / phone

Rudy said,

I have a "family" plan with my gf and we get:
- 400 shared minutes (unlimited after 9pm or between our 2 phones)
- 1GB of data (shared)
- unlimited txts

all that for $100.... kinda depressing lol, we just got caller ID and that was $8 / phone

You have to pay extra for caller id on a cellphone? That is depressing

Rudy said,
I know
And I thought that here in Mexico carriers are outrageous...

Their unlimited data plans are too expensive for the average consumer and the pay as you go are much trickier to understand as well. Many people here is paying those plans only because there is the hype but many of the people I know spend their days at an office with WiFi/Ethernet and their homes so there isn't a real need, at least not here and not now.

This free option with facebook is nice for those countries listed above, though.

SputnikGamer said,

How much are plans over there? I currently have a plan that costs $50 a month giving me unlimited data and texting and 1800 minutes a month plus free calls after 6. Being a student and in class or work most of the day before 6, I rarely use more than 700 or 800 a month anyway. I can get a new student loan for every semester so every six months, if i needed to anyway, I could easily pick up a 300-400 dollar student loan to cover that one bill.

About £30 - 35/mo, depending on what you want, you can get a lot cheaper and a lot dearer. Right now I'm using a PAYG chip from O2, which if I top up £10 I get unlimited texts for a month, and then the £10 for calls. This works because I just can suffer without a lot of texting/calls when the bank's a bit dry.

SputnikGamer said,
Can someone explain this? Facebook is already 100% free so what am I missing here? Even the mobile apps for Facebook are free.

It means that if you visit that site on those particular carriers that you will not be charged for the data transferred.

SputnikGamer said,
Can someone explain this? Facebook is already 100% free so what am I missing here? Even the mobile apps for Facebook are free.

It's so that it doesn't charge you to use the internet on your mobile. It's an agreement between the operators and Facebook, so that if the user accesses the address 0.facebook.com, the operators know not to charge the user. Instead, I'm guessing Facebook are footing the bill.

Pauleh said,

It's so that it doesn't charge you to use the internet on your mobile. It's an agreement between the operators and Facebook, so that if the user accesses the address 0.facebook.com, the operators know not to charge the user. Instead, I'm guessing Facebook are footing the bill.

This article should at the very least link to the source if its not going to fully explain itself. I can see where you and Jimmy0 got that from but it doesn't actually say anything that clear in the article. I guess the rest of the world is just spoiled and use to these sites technically being free anyway.

To be fair, I only knew about it because I read this article elsewhere earlier in the day that explained it a bit better.

Jimmy0 said,
To be fair, I only knew about it because I read this article elsewhere earlier in the day that explained it a bit better.

Yeah, that's the best way to understand most Neowin articles anymore...

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, that's the best way to understand most Neowin articles anymore...

Quite often, data plans are not unlimited. Even more often, phones without data plans get charged per MB if they use the internet. In such a situation, it is easy to reach the conclusion that it's going to be free for data as facebook in itself is free, and it's kind of impossible to detect which carrier they're coming from, let alone charge them for not being on a specific carrier, so the only thing left to be charged is the data.

Now, if you're in the US or some other country where you're used to having an unlimited data plan on your phone, then yeah... you're going to need help understanding what exactly is going to be free.