Facebook teamed up with Globe Telecom, a mobile provider serving the Philippines, to launch a three-month test of giving its customers full access to the social network without having to pay data charges, Mashable reported.
In 2010, Facebook launched a scaled-down free mobile site, Facebook Zero, but Globe Telecom Senior Adviser for Consumer Business Peter Bithos told Mashable the need to log in via 0.Facebook.com caused some confusion, adding:
Facebook is an immersive experience, and you’re not sure when your zero rating starts or stops. People thought they were getting free Facebook when they visited links outside of the site, but they were racking up data charges.
Developing markets are prepaid markets. In the Philippines, users keep a zero balance on their accounts 70 percent of the time, but still want to experience the Internet.
And Facebook Vice President of Partnerships Chris Daniels told Mashable:
We think Asia represents an enormous opportunity for growth: 2 billion people are not connected to the Internet in Asia, which is a huge market.
We started the program in the Philippines because 30 million people access the Internet on a monthly basis. In the coming years, there’s going to be a shift in smartphone usage and data usage, and we’d like to bridge that gap on getting online.
Readers: Do you think Facebook will extend this test to other parts of Asia?
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