Facebook is turning on the heat in the smartphone world. Shortly after INQ announced the game changer Facebook Phones, Gemalto – a world leader in digital security has announced that they have created a new Facebook application that, rather than being installed on a particular phone, is installed on the SIM card instead.
Dubbed as “Facebook for SIM”, this application offers two huge benefits. First, it can be installed on just about any cellphone, be it a low-end feature phone or a high end smartphone. Moreover, since it’s directly installed on the SIM, so it’s independent of whether your device is running Android or Apple iOS. Secondly, it enabled people without data plans to stay connected with their Facebook friends in an affordable way.
Facebook for SIM
Most carriers are abolishing unlimited data plans and switching to tiered pricing. Therefore, users are now forced to change their eat-all-you-can habits to a more realistic data usage policy. Therefore, it’s heartening to see Gemalto come up with a technology that uses SMS for Facebook updates.
The app uses Class 2 SMS messages, a type of message which is stored and used on the SIM card, not the phone, and it also uses the GSM SIM Toolkit, which is part of the GSM standard and available on all GSM handsets. The service will work for prepaid as well as postpaid subscribers and users will need to pay for a separate subscription to the application. The company plans to offer Facebook for SIM on a limited free trial period.
The app provides a near-desktop Facebook experience by allowing users to use features such as friend requests, status updates, wall posts or messages via text-based menus, with updates passed back and forth between the handset and the web via SMS. It does not require a data plan and no application needs to be downloaded.
Facebook already has a bare bones app for feature phones but Gemalto has stepped up the ante by coming up with an app which installs on the SIM rather than the phone.
Further, Gemalto says that users to not need to buy new SIMs in order to use the app. The existing SIMs are upgradeable to install the app.
Mobile is the future
Out of the 600 Million plus Facebook community, nearly one-third proportion use Facebook on their mobile phones, and are twice as active on the social networking site as non-mobile Facebook users.
IMO, it’s likely to have a bigger impact in under developed nations where smartphones are still an exception rather than a norm. Though it’s early days, the technology is no doubt exciting and would further propel Facebook’s explosive growth.
Gemalto has declined to comment on the launch date and operator compatibility for Facebook for SIM.