Airtel announced the launch of Facebook by Fonetwish, a USSD-based Facebook access service in India. Customers can now access to Facebook and update their Facebook status for free and enjoy additional activities for only Re.1 per day. This services are offered without activating data services. Airtel claims this as an unique and affordable service and is offered exclusively to Airtel customers in India.
Now, Airtel Customers can update their Facebook status through this USSD service free of cost. With just Re.1 per day will open the gateway to access the full feature application which includes viewing news feeds, commenting the feeds, liking news feed stories, posting on friends’ walls, confirming friend requests, viewing notifications, and finding as well as adding friends. The whole eco-system is made available for the 150 million plus customers in India.
Commenting on the service, Mr. Shireesh Joshi, Director – Marketing, Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel said, “In the Indian market scenario, where the penetration of smart phones is relatively low and use of internet on mobile is primarily limited to key cities, many users are excluded from accessing their Facebook accounts via mobile phones. The need for a ubiquitous access mechanism is a growing necessity – and that’s exactly what Airtel’s USSD service for Facebook will help deliver. Facebook is seeing exponential growth in India and the popularity of this platform runs across demographics. We look forward to bringing millions of Facebook users in India closer to their love for social networking – by allowing them to access it anytime, anywhere on their Airtel powered mobile phones.”
“At Facebook, we are always exploring ways to enable people to easily connect and share with friends on Facebook wherever they are, whenever they want,” said Mr. Henri Moissinac, Head of Mobile Business, Facebook. “This innovative USSD-based Facebook access service that will be offered by Airtel is another affordable and easy way for people to stay connected with their friends and family through Facebook.”
USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) acts as a browser to pull the content to the phone. This requires no internet connection, browser, GPRS and etc. USSD is a menu based system which enables interfacing with the content based services. The Fonetwish developed by U2opia Mobile, a social and mobile application provider.
Airtel Customers can now simply dial *325# for non-qwerty mobiles (and *fbk# for qwerty mobile handsets) to access Facebook - without subscribing to data plans.