As I’m sure you’ve heard and seen, Facebook recently released a new Timeline feature, as reported by Todd Wasserman. This shows just how important a part the social networking site plays in our lives, whether personal or professional. While half the world sleeps, the other half are busy fuelling the internet content servers worldwide, with Facebook an especially popular hub. The globe has never been better connected, so to miss out on the transition from traditional phone line to online communication is to be left in the dark, left behind and ultimately, cut off.
As the internet becomes ‘personal’, its friendly façade presented in numerous forms, on numerous devices, extends its reach far beyond the traditional handset. Since Blackberry popularized the use of instant messaging via BBM and What’s App continues to dominate the smartphone download market, Apple has retaliated with its IOS 5 software package that will include the service iMessage, replacing the former ‘network message’ tile on your device. According to Nielsen, smartphones with internet access have boosted data consumption as users seek to be online at any time in any place, presumably to stay connected with their friends, for example via Facebook.
But what if, along with 88% of the population, you don’t have a smartphone?
As announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, we have developed the technology to squeeze Facebook on to the traditional SIM card, meaning that you will no longer have to rely on the internet to keep in touch with the rest of the world. Here’s a video that explains how it works: Facebook for SIM by Gemalto
The potential for this in developing countries is huge. As long as you have a GSM phone signal, you have access to the world beyond your phonebook. It’s also likely that Facebook on SIM will have a big impact in markets where smartphones and omnipresent data networks have yet to penetrate. We’ll be tracking with interest how Argentina Personal’s subscribers react to the offer when it goes live with our Facebook for SIM software application. With more than 17.4 million customers, this could mean a whole new source of Facebook users.