Free Facebook takes off quickly

Free Facebook service, provided by telecommunication company Digicel PNG, has taken off very quickly, just within a week of being introduced to customers.

Digicel head of products, Paul Byrne, said the company has seen positive response following the soft launch in July 22.

Not stating specific numbers, he says Digicel has seen a massive uplift from a numbers perspective.

He also noted that this remarkable result has been achieved prior to any advertising campaigns being rolled out.

“We just started our advertisement campaign on Monday so we’re expecting really big uptake and increase in people using Facebook on our network.”

He says there has been a substantial jump of the customer base using free Facebook, particularly existing customers switching from data mode to free mode.

But this is not the case with all customers.

Mary Butinga has expressed disappointment on the free Facebook mode not allowing customers to view pictures and videos.

“How am I expected to like and react if I cannot view these two important features?” she told Loop PNG.

Byrne however, explains that the offered service is a program Facebook has rolled across the world in other markets.

"The template that they use is to provide a free Facebook stepping stone into Facebook which is a light version of the product.

"In order to offer it free, the version needs to be a lighter version of the full product and this allows the customer to graduate to the full version of the full Facebook experience."

The newly-launched option to switch to free Facebook mode is accessible via the android app on smartphones, which make up 90 – 95 percent of smartphones in PNG.

(Digicel head of products Paul Byrne, left, during the launch on Tuesday at Laguna Hotel, Port Moresby.)

Gloria Bauai