Facebook on a SIM targets mass market

Canny social network Facebook has tapped into a significant market with a version of its platform that can be embedded on the SIM. What the offering lacks in glossy UI it makes up for by bringing Facebook access to the mass market of low end device users.

SIM card manufacturer Gemalto, which developed the offering, said this week that Personal Argentina – the brand of incumbent Telecom Argentina – is the first mobile operator to adopt the Facebook for SIM software application, bringing Facebook features to any mobile phone model and without the need for a data plan.

The software application is embedded inside the SIM and allow users to access core Facebook features from the phone’s main screen, through a cascade of menus. Users can also receive notifications of wall posts and messages, view friend requests and status updates. A subset of SMS is used as the data carrier, allowing messages to be sent and received without user interaction.

Personal Argentina has a user base of around 17.4 million customers, many of which are on non-smartphone devices, to pitch this offering to.

“The new Facebook for SIM by Personal allows us to continue multiplying accesses to social networks, anytime, anywhere, for millions of customers who could be connected, regardless of device they have,” said Ezequiel López Alcalá, innovation and Value Added Services manager, at Personal.

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