Facebook announced that Facebook For Every Phone, a native app that works on feature phones, has been downloaded 100 million times.
Facebook For Every Phone is an essential part of the company’s global strategy because more feature phones than smartphones are used in developing markets like India, Indonesia and the Philippines. In fact, for many consumers, feature phones may be their main or only point of access to the Internet. Facebook only recently began selling ads on its feature phone platform and makes very little money that way, but extending into countries with rapidly developing tech ecosystem may help Facebook counterbalance its declining or stagnant traffic in countries such as the U.S. and UK.
Facebook had 751 million monthly active users on mobile as of March 31, 2013, an increase of 54% year-over-year.
Facebook For Every Phone includes the social network’s most popular features, including News Feed, Messenger and Photos. It is optimized to use less data than other Java apps and mobile sites, which is a boon for users on limited data plans. In addition, Facebook has partnered with mobile operators around the world to offer free or discounted data access to Facebook For Every Phone. The app is powered by Snaptu, a mobile platform that Facebook acquired in 2011.