Facebook links up with Vodafone on mobile platform in Europe

Facebook launched a new platform on Thursday for operators designed to make its social networking application work better on portable devices.

Facebook took a new step into the mobile realm this week, launching a platform for operators designed to make its social networking application work better on portable devices.

Vodafone is the first operator to use the Facebook for Mobile Operators platform and has started services in the UK and Germany, said Jed Stremel, Facebook's director of mobile division. Vodafone will soon expand the program to Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Portugal.

The platform involves giving operators a set of technical specifications intended to resolve some of frustrating hang-ups when using Facebook on a mobile phone rather than a PC, such as smoothing out login problems and opening up other features, Stremel said.

The move by Facebook, which ranks next to MySpace as one of the most popular social networking sites, is intended to grow its user base, which the company estimates at 64 million users. So far, the company says it has 6 million users of Facebook Mobile, an unsupported mobile version of the Web site that will now get full support, Stremel said.

At the moment the mobile site does not have any advertising. Stremel would not reveal the financial details of Facebook's deal with Vodafone, although he said operators will be able to generate revenue from data services as their subscribers access Facebook.

The long-term hope for social networking sites is rich online advertising revenue. Facebook, which has an exclusive deal with Microsoft to place ads on the site, also did not say when it would put advertising on the mobile site.

The company is hoping to lure more operators by the simplicity with which they can enable Facebook, Stremel said.

Facebook has created special Web pages with instructions on how operators can set up their systems, he said. The instructions, for example, let operators add system settings that will let their subscribers send MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) with photos or video to their Facebook profiles, Stremel said.

The platform also includes other specifications designed to stop abuse of Facebook, such as spamming, Stremel said. When someone sends their first MMS with a photo to their profile, the user is sent back a confirmation message with a code or a link. That confirmation then links that person's phone with their Facebook account, Stremel said.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?