Facebook just got a lot more accessible to international users. The social network has launched 0.facebook.com, a special mobile-only site that can be accessed free of charge on select carriers. The lightweight site omits photos but includes core functionality like News Feed, status updates, profile Walls and messaging. And most important, Facebook has partnered with over 50 mobile carriers to offer free access to the site, without any data fees.
Not to be confused with the now defunct Facebook Lite, Facebook 0 was originally announced back in February (when it was called ‘Zero’). Facebook has presumably been hammering out deals with carriers since then, and it has quite a few on board with more on the way (you can see a list of countries supported in Facebook’s blog post or the table below).
This mobile site could play a big role in Facebook’s growth going forward, especially given the predictions that browser-equipped mobile phones will be more abundant than PCs in the not-too-distant future. For some people, 0.facebook.com will probably be their only Facebook experience — it may even be the only mobile site they’re accessing from their cell phones.
If you’re in the United States though, don’t bother pulling out your phone to check out the site for yourself — none of the US carriers are on board.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...