Orange Mobile launches Facebook Zero in Kenya.

I’m not sure how this happened so quietly but apparently Orange Mobile launched Facebook Zero in Kenya sometime in late July 2011. This would make Orange Mobile the first mobile network operator in Kenya to do so. For those of you who may not know about Facebook Zero, this is a mobile version of Facebook that was launched globally over a year ago with around 50 mobile networks in 45 countries.

The way Facebook Zero works is that using it is free as it does not attract data charges. Media such as images and graphics are not present on Facebook Zero and all content is in text. The fact that Facebook Zero content is in text means that it is fast to access which is ideal for markets where Internet speeds can be slow. For these two reasons, Facebook Zero going live in Kenya with Orange Mobile is an exciting new development since there are over 1 million registered Facebook users in the country.

In order to access Facebook Zero on your Orange Mobile handset, all you need to do is point your browser to 0.facebook.com and it should come up. In addition, you can get more details on setting up Facebook Zero on your mobile handset at the Orange Mobile web site here>

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  1. James
    July 30, 2011 at 12:00 pm — Reply

    I’ve actually been browsing on 0.facebook.com since I think May or earlier. Thus they launched it kitambo. What is their marketing team doing? Had it been Safcom, everyone and his dog would have known about it. It at least could have merited one miserly press release if only on their website, and the same sent via email to you guys who blog about the tech space in Kenya. A good example is opera Software ASA, who do something like that, and don’t use alot of money on marketing about their latest newsworthy item.

    • July 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm — Reply

      @james sure it was on back in May 2011? Its a telco-based service for you to get the “zero” data benefits.

  2. Mark
    July 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm — Reply

    orange is not the first. safaricom had it though it wasn’t official.

    • July 30, 2011 at 2:10 pm — Reply

      @Mark are you sure Safaricom had facebook zero prior? maybe they just tested it. It would be very unlike Safaricom to NOT have marketed the same if they had it.

  3. August 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm — Reply

    Are you sure Facebook 0 is free? I would assume that it still has data charges for the text, although they must be very small because you are talking bytes of data. And do you kno how exactly does this help Orange’s business model?

  4. August 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm — Reply

    Facebook zero is currently only accessible on Orange Mobile (in Kenya – and i think on Orange network in Africa) and it is absolutely free.
    On the Business model: I’ll not pretend to be an expert on this but, given that 0.facebook.com strips off images, it costs Orange almost nothing to have it on their network. However, if Orange can get enough people (mostly the youth / University students i guess) to switch to Orange based on the fact that they can catch up on facebook for free, then they can easily throw in value added services that will attract fees.
    I do agree with James though..Orange must push this message a lot more aggressively online in places where their audiences are.

  5. […] YouTube. This has led to initiatives by some of these companies to promote local content e.g. Facebook Zero and YouTube Kenya but the content still ends up on their platforms and is consequently demanded […]

  6. […] YouTube. This has led to initiatives by some of these companies to promote local content e.g. Facebook Zero and YouTube Kenya but the content still ends up on their platforms and is consequently demanded […]

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