Facebook recently announced that its Facebook for every phone app, is now being utilized by over 100 million people globally. That is a colossal landmark, and could spell incredible marketing opportunities for businesses in Kenya.
Ran Makavy, Facebook’s growth manager announced this via a post on their website. He wrote, “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.”
This offers a level playing field for small business owners, who want to reach the common ‘mwananchi’ or Wanjiku. According to Ran, the app “mimics” smartphone apps. It includes Facebook’s most popular features, such as News Feed, Messenger and Photos, and provides a complete experience for first-time users, including the ability to create a new account and find friends. He terms it as an easy-to-use native app that works on more than 3,000 different types of feature phones. That’s almost every handset manufacturer that exists today. They are targeting devices that cost less than 20 dollars a day or about 1800 Kshs.
So how pray tell does this app work on such phones? The app is optimized to use less data than other Java apps and mobile sites, making it more affordable to use. Facebook has also explored partnerships with mobile operators around the world, to offer free or discounted data access to Facebook For Every Phone.
The Facebook For Every Phone app is powered by technology created by Snaptu, an Israel-based mobile platform that Ran Makvy co-founded in 2007. Snaptu relaunched as Facebook For Every Phone in July 2011, and uses the power of servers to accelerate and optimize the way mobile apps work. That he opies is the key to providing a great user experience on low-end devices.