Zimbabwe: Telecel subscribers to browse Facebook for free

Facebook announces widespread changes to news feed
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. (image credit:digitalreviews.net)
Facebook is likely to carve out a strong position as a commerce platform (image: file)
Facebook is likely to carve out a strong position as a commerce platform (image: file)
Telecel pre-paid subscribers with data-enabled handsets can now browse on Facebook for free, even when they have no airtime, utilising the Facebook Zero web-site.

Facebook Zero is a mobile web-site that includes all the key features of Facebook but is optimised for speed with zero data charges.

It can be accessed through three addresses, namely zero.facebook.com, 0.facebook.com or o.facebook.com. It is supported on default browsers and Opera Mini (proxy browser).

Subscribers using Facebook Zero can send and receive chat messages, browse a newsfeed and view a friend’s timeline without images or videos. They can post comments, update statuses, like posts, poke friends and send and reply to messages, all for free.

Subscribers are not charged for any text but will be charged for images, video clips and third party sites they choose to view. These will be charged at 11 cents per megabyte or at the data bundle rate for subscribers who subscribe to data bundles. A warning message will appear before accessing content that is not free.

“Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, used by almost 1.2 billion people. Facebook Zero makes it possible to stay in touch with Facebook friends at no cost at all,” commented Telecel Zimbabwe marketing director Octivius Kahiya.

“Facebook Zero is able to do this by omitting more data intensive content such as photos and videos. It gives free and fast access via text only,” he said, adding that this includes posting or sending text messages on Facebook, as well as poking friends.

“Subscribers only pay data charges if they want to view photos or videos or when they leave the free site to browse other sites. If they seek to view material for which they will be charged, a notification message will appear to confirm that they will be charged,” he said.

Facebook Zero is not supported on browsers or devices that proxy traffic, including Blackberry and Nokia Ovi browsers. Subscribers using these browsers can download the free Opera Mini browser and immediately gain access to Telecel Facebook Zero.

Facebook Zero is the latest offering from Telecel giving added value to its subscribers. Recently, Telecel launched its new branded prepaid platform called Telecel Go.

The platform is the first in the country to offer a choice of prepaid plans a subscriber can choose from. The pre-paid plan options are Go Mega, Go Juic’r and Go Flexi. There are also a wide range of bundles which offer huge value, including for national voice calls across all networks, international voice calls, data and SMS.

Telecel has confirmed it is working on introducing more products to provide even more value for its subscribers.

Chengetai Chinembiri