Facebook will shortly launch a new version of the social network, called ‘Facebook Zero’ for mobile Web users.
Facebook Zero will be a stripped down, text-only version of the original social network. It will run on a lower bandwidth. The site will not allow access photos or videos. It will be a text-only site.
The popular social network, which has been growing rapidly, claims they now have over 100 million users a month on mobile alone, and this figure is expected to grow even further. This new version will help Facebook to free-up a lot of critical bandwidth.
Facebook Zero is likely to be offered to users free of charge, and then interested users can change over to a paying model with a multimedia service.
Almost half the time spent by users online on their mobiles is dedicated to Facebook. In December 2009, users in U.K. spent 2.2 billion minutes on Facebook through their mobile phones.
According to Brandee Barker, a spokesperson at Facebook, “[Facebook] are discussing it… as an option to make Facebook on the mobile Web available to everyone anywhere and allow operators to encourage more mobile Internet usage.”
A slimmed down version of Facebook, called Facebook Lite, is already available in places with slow Internet connections, such as in third world countries.
Facebook Zero will be launched in the coming weeks.