The new site, 0.Facebook.com, will be available in 45 countries through 50+ mobile and wireless network operators. It is a trimmed-down version of Facebook with most of the features ofm.Facebook.com, including status updates, a newsfeed, Likes, wall posts and comments.
The ‘killer feature’ is that it’s FREE to use. That is of course if the mobile phone provider in your country has done whatever deal is necessary with FaceBook to use it.
50+ countries surely had to include South Africa. Right? I mean if there’s an African country involved, we’ve surely got to be at the top of the list. Over 1 000 000 FaceBook users in SA means FaceBook would have worked hard to get an agreement with one of the mobile phone operators in this country. And what a win for them.
Except, as you’re correctly guessing, South Africa is not on the list. The list includes Swaziland, Uganda, Rwanda, Guinea Bissau and DRC. Many of those are through MTN. But South Africa is not on the list.
Why is this?
The only answer I can come up with is because of the ridiculous amount of money that the mobile phone operators in SA are making. Yesterday I saw figures that suggested there are over 10 000 000 data subscribers in SA, so why attempt to lure them with a free service when you can milk them dry?
Am I wrong?