While the majority of Facebook users access the site through smartphones, a growing number of people interact on Facebook through feature phones. Facebook announced Monday that upwards of 100 million people use Facebook on their feature phones via the Facebook For Every Phone App, something the company launched two years ago.
While the iPhone and Android devices are the two most popular mobile avenues for Facebook, people worldwide are increasingly using feature phones to connect with friends on the site. Facebook’s goal is to make sure that anyone who accesses the site from any device have a quality experience.
As of March 2013, there are 751 mobile monthly active users on Facebook, 189 million of whom only check Facebook from their phone.
Facebook Growth Manager Ran Makavy discussed the company’s newest milestone in a blog post:
We are excited to announce that there are now more than 100 million people using Facebook For Every Phone each month.
This is an important milestone for us. Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected, and Facebook For Every Phone enables people around the globe to connect to the people and things they care about most, no matter what kind of mobile device they use.
Today, millions of people in developing markets like India, Indonesia and the Philippines are relying on this technology to connect with Facebook, without having to purchase a smartphone.
Ultimately, Facebook for Every Phone is a fast and easy-to-use native app that works on more than 3,000 different types of feature phones from almost every handset manufacturer that exists today. These devices can cost as little as 20 US dollars.
As Makavy explained in the blog post, Facebook For Every Phone was developed 2 years ago, powered by technology from Snaptu, and Israel-based mobile platform that he co-founded in 2007. Snaptu was acquired by Facebook in 2011 and re-launched as Facebook For Every Phone in July.
Upstream, a mobile monetization company, recently looked at Facebook’s penetration in the feature phone market. The company cites a figure from Gartner, finding that the sale of feature phones in the fourth quarter of 2012 were better than smartphones (264.4 million units to 207.7). In a recent Upstream poll, 70 percent of consumers in emerging markets said they wanted access to social networks.
Upstream Marketing and PR Manager Vasileios Tziokas discussed Facebook’s success with feature phones:
Rather than the latest upgrades though, it is accessibility which is the most important feature of a Facebook app for emerging market consumers, explaining why more than 1 in 10 of consumers are happy with Facebook Zero – a free text only application. However, a move from the app to the feature phone device market could signal great success for Facebook in these regions as almost a third (31%) of emerging market consumers would like a handset designed by the social network with relevant content and apps preloaded.
Readers: Do you use Facebook For Every Phone to check the site?
Images courtesy of Facebook For Every Phone.