Facebook on an aggressive mobile traffic building strategy

In a new strategy to attract more mobile users, social media giant Facebook had announced its partnership with Nokia for its just launched Nokia Asha 501 to get Facebook pre-installed in the handsets.

Facebook has built a messaging platform for Nokia Asha 501, that will allow users to see and chat with their online friends. Facebook believes that devices like Nokia phone with pre-loaded Facebook comes at affordable prices in markets like India and thus will allow more number of people to use it.

Current number of mobile subscribers in India include 862.62 Million, in January 2013, as compared to 168 million number of claimed total Internet Users, giving a wider scope for Facebook’s penetration in Indian masses through mobile tie-ups.

On the backend Nokia had also partnered with Airtel to offer data-free access to the standalone Facebook app, and its mobile site m.facebook.com. With this, by the end of second quarter the current Airtel subscribers in India will get unlimited data-free access to Facebook from Nokia Asha 501 for a limited period of time.

Facebook is also working with many other mobile device makers to launch phones with “Free Facebook” data packages. This isn’t first time that Facebook is coming up with such a mobile strategy to get more user base using Facebook on mobile in India.

In July 2011 it invested in building “Facebook for Every Phone” app, which delivers Smartphone-like Facebook experience on feature phones, the app is available in 7 languages in India. In Dec 2012,  it launched Messenger for Android which helps users to connect on mobile, send – receive messages with a phone number without having a Facebook account. Nokia Asha 205 also has a dedicated Facebook button.

At the global level, Facebook in the Mobile World Congress 2013, had announced its partnership with over 18 mobile operators in 18 countries to provide free or a discounted access to Facebook messaging on Android & iOS messenger and Facebook on other Phones.

Though in a similar strategy to hook mobile users on Facebook, the recent app of Facebook Home had failed to attract the users, as out of 14,100 reviews, 52% rated it just one out of five stars.

According to the Quarter 1, 2013 findings, Facebook mobile monthly active users had increased by 54% Y-o-Y taking total users to 751 million mobile users. The increase in mobile users had also led to increase in the share of Mobile advertising revenue, taking total mobile advertising revenue to 30% of the total.

Higher mobile penetration and good number of user adopting mobile as a medium for internet usage  in India, had forced various players to get a mobile strategy in order to tap the market, of which recently Internet browser company, Opera had also tied up with 7 Indian mobile OEM’s for pre-installation in android devices to tap the market and another China based browser UCweb plans to do the same.

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