The option to switch to free Facebook was officially launched last night (July 26) at the Laguna Hotel in Port Moresby. This exciting development was introduced to Digicel staff during a soft launch at the company’s headquarters in Port Moresby and other regional sales offices in Lae, Kokopo and Mt Hagen on July 22.
The newly-launched option to switch to free Facebook mode is accessible via smartphone
Facebook apps or on Facebook.com only when attached to the Digicel network.
This new Facebook offering allows smartphone users to browse Facebook messages; comment, share, like or tag someone; and even send photos via Facebook Messenger at no cost.
Digicel is the only telecoms operator in PNG to provide this free Facebook service to its smartphone users, thus giving thousands of people the opportunity to continuously stay connected and keep in touch with friends and loved ones.
Digicel managing director mobile, Shivan Bhargava, said Facebook is the leading social media platform in PNG and one of the very first entry points for people into the online world of social media, providing an important stepping-stone to other online smartphone experiences.
“With the aim to continuously improve telecommunications for its customers, Digicel PNG has once again added value with the launch of the option to switch to free Facebook, enabling more people to stay connected 24 hours a day.”
Bhargava reiterated that currently a large number of PNG mobile phone users have a smartphone yet not all were in a position to access Facebook.
“The option to switch to free Facebook delivers a lighter version of the full Facebook experience with no data costs. The aim is to introduce non-data users to the benefits of social media, help them become comfortable using this interactive social media platform and migrate to regular data plan consumption if they want to,” Bhargava added.
“We know that access to the internet can have a tremendous impact on a nation’s ability to reduce poverty and promote long-term economic and social development,” Bhargava said.
“It is estimated* that if all citizens of the world had the same level of internet access as the most advanced nations do today, then less developed countries could see their long run productivity improve by as much as 25 percent.
“These are staggering possibilities – perhaps more staggering is that change is right here at our fingertips.”
Digicel Facebook users are now able to switch between free and data modes, allowing them to access the free Facebook services but also utilise the data cost services when preferred.
This service went live to PNG customers on Friday, July 15, 2016.
(Some of the DIgicel PNG staff during the soft launch of the option last Friday in Port Moresby.)
* Value of Connectivity – Economic and social benefits of expanding internet access, 2014, Deloitte LLP