The downside to being one of the most popular mobile apps in the world is that you must be universally accessible to all devices from the lowliest feature phone to the latest Android device.
Facebook said today that it’s overhauling its offerings for more than 2,500 models of feature phones through a partnership with Snaptu. It has launched a new Facebook for Feature Phones app that works on Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG and other manufacturers.
The company says the new app has an easier-to-navigate home screen, syncs contacts and supports fast scrolling of photos and friend updates. More full-featured apps tend to see more usage, so Facebook for Feature Phones could fuel signficant increases in Facebook mobile’s DAU, especially in the developing world.
Facebook is also extending some of the partnerships it initiated last year through Facebook ‘0’, a free, low-bandwidth version of the site meant to fuel the company’s growth in developing countries. Fourteen mobile operators from Tunisia to the Ukraine will give their customers free access to Facebook. Carriers typically use these deals to entice new mobile subscribers to upgrade to paid data plans and they usually carry a one-year term.
Snaptu, which specializes in supporting smartphone-like experiences on feature phones, has been growing aggressively on Facebook and boasts 3.4 million monthly active users, according to AppData.