Facebook ties up with mobile operators for free or discounted Messaging

In what could be considered as challenge to popular messaging app, WhatsApp, Facebook has announced free or discounted messaging via Facebook Messenger on select mobile operators.


Facebook has tied up with more than 18 operators in 14 countries. These operators are:

  • TMN in Portugal
  • Three in Ireland
  • Airtel and Reliance in India
  • Vivacom in Bulgaria
  • Backcell in Azerbaydzhan
  • Indosat, Smartfren, AXIS and XL Axiata in Indonesia
  • SMART in Philippines
  • DiGi in Malaysia
  • DTAC in Thailand
  • Viva in Bahrain
  • STC in Saudi Arabia
  • Oi in Brazil
  • Etisalat in Egypt
  • Tre in Italy

This is Facebook new scheme to enter the developing countries that have mobile-only consumers, who don’t have access to the desktop web, thus increasing their reach globally. This would also benefit the local carriers with new potential customers getting attracted to the network due to the scheme.

Facebook had earlier partnered with a few carriers to provide free data for its newly launched app. With WhatsApp replacing the local text messaging plans of the mobile operators, it’s no wonder Facebook decided to venture the field after venturing into other similar prospects earlier. With the largest user base, free or discounted messaging from Facebook would easily catch on.