Facebook has announced the launch of its latest site specifically targeted at mobile phone users. The Website, known as Facebook Zero, is a completely stripped-down, low-bandwidth and text-only version of Facebook.
Unlike Facebook Lite, Zero is designed to meet the basic needs of the over 100 million mobile users of Facebook on the Internet and should provide additional benefit to mobile network operators by freeing up critical bandwidth on their networks by leaving out data intensive applications such as photos and videos.
Click here to view Facebook Zero on your Web browser
A spokesperson for Facebook is quoted as saying that the new site, which was annonuced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, will serve “as an option to make Facebook on the mobile Web available to everyone, anywhere and allow operators to encourage more mobile Internet usage”. However, it is not yet clear to what extent this new addition will further boost the popularity of Facebook usage among mobile phone users.
I cannot help but think that Facebook Zero has been designed to target new users who may live in developing countries or places with low-bandwidth history at the expense of current users. Do you agree that it will encourage all mobile phone users to access Facebook on their device more than ever or perhaps alienate existing users particularly because of its obvious lack of aesthetics and potentially modest user-experience?