App Focus: Facebook Mobile Goes Data Free

12:20 PM -- Facebook knows that it’s not only the smartphone-toting elite that need their social networking fix on the go, so it has teamed with 50 international mobile operators to offer a low-spec version of its site that won’t cost a thing in data charges.

According to Reuters, the new text-only version of the site, 0.facebook.com, is optimized for phones with limited Internet capabilities. That means the site won’t display photos or videos, but users can keep up with status updates or post their own.

The report did not specify whether Pokes are allowed.

Diet Facebook will span 40 countries with the help of operators like Reliance Communications Ltd. and Videocon in India, Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) in Greece, and T-Mobile International AG in Hungary. The US won’t be on the list at launch, and the social networking giant isn’t reimbursing the wireless operators for the free usage, Reuters says.

Other app happenings this week:

  • DeviceFidelity has teamed up with Visa USA to turn the iPhone into a contactless credit card... almost. The service works with microSD technology but also requires an additional In2Pay protective case affixed to the phone for the contactless payment capability. Still, with each new accessory, near-field communications inches closer to reality.

  • Kindle for Android will be coming this summer. In addition to small-screen eReading, users will be able to purchase books from within the app, change the font size, and synch their last page read with Kindle’s other devices, including its own hardware, the iPad, BlackBerry, and Macs.

  • You may have relegated the iPhone’s virtual Zippo lighter app to the category of "who-cares apps" like iFart, but 10 million people disagree. The app passed the 10 million-downloaded milestone this week and announced a new version replete with free and premium skins from the likes of Harley Davidson, Ozzy Ozbourne, Playboy, and others, as well as the ability to let your flame shine on longer.

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

  • sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:35:45 PM
    re: App Focus: Facebook Mobile Goes Data Free

    Update: Poking is a go.

    Users will be able to view photos too, but they'll be charged for that. Everything else is free on the new FB service.

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