TECH
04/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Facebook 'Zero': Facebook To Launch New Web Site For Cell Phone Users

Looking to avoid data service charges from mobile operators and still satisfy your Facebook craving? Good news, Facebook plans to release a new web site called 'Zero'.

The site will be a text-only version functioning on a low-bandwidth designed for people who want to stay connected on their cell phones.

Facebook has not made any official statements on the new site, however, TechCrunch
reported Facebook's Chamath Palihapitiya briefly mentioned Zero at the Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona.

Presumably, Facebook will offer Facebook Zero to carriers for free, since it helps them make the social network as ubiquitous on mobile phones as possible.

Once the site is available, users can go to m.facebook.com on their mobile phones to see text updates. For now, the site says, 'Sorry, your carrier does not support zero.facebook.com.'

While it could eliminate data charges on your monthly phone bill, the down side to Zero is that browsing the latest photos of your friends won't be an option. Zero will not include application or photos, which are too 'data intensive'.

InsideNetwork reported Facebook executives said in the 'light weight version,' photos didn't make the cut.

Facebook recently said it had reached 400 million monthly active users, with more than 70% of users located outside of the United States. Meanwhile, its number of mobile users has climbed to 100 million, or a quarter of its total user base.

Zero will be similar to another slim version called Facebook Lite, which is popular with users who have poor or slow internet connection.

The general purpose is clearly to attract more users to join Facebook, but as geek.com reports, the site will hopefully encourage people to use their phones to update Facebook, which could be a financial concern in the end.

If a user wants to indulge in the multimedia side of Zero, the mobile carrier could begin charging mobile users a service fee. And that in turn could potentially drive up data usage revenues.