Cell phone billing can be expensive in foreign countries, where data plans and pay as you go services make life simpler but potentially more costly. Facebook is one of the most popular websites on Earth, and they’ve devised a mobile solution to help cut down on cellular costs.
The service, 0.facebook.com, allows users to view their friends’ status updates and other related information, but saves money on data transfers by not displaying pictures, reports CNet. The images will still be available, but the costs will be higher than the text-based information.
It could be a godsend for travelers who use Facebook to keep in touch with their friends and family while they’re overseas. Finding an internet cafe or other hot spot for wireless can be difficult and add to the costs of taking a trip. But the site allows people to provide updates, and is available in 45 different countries with 50 different carriers.
As it stands, vacationers in popular destinations like France and the UK won’t have access to the site just yet, although users can try it out in Turkey and Brazil. If you’re looking for alternatives before the full-scale roll out, consider using e-mail or web-based services like Ping.fm to keep people apprised of your trip. Ping.fm, as one example, allows you to broadcast information on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
[Image: U.S. Embassy – Zanzibar]