Facebook and Airtel partnered sometime back to get more users access the internet for free on mobile. The plan is to get some sites accessible to mobile users without needing data access. This is currently a plan between Airtel and Facebook that also involves other players as service providers. For one to get access to the internet-free Facebook among other sites, one needs to have an Airtel line.
But that’s not the problem.
Facebook is now advertising on their site for all and sundry and this is where things get thick. Safaricom is not pleased with the move where Facebook is targeting Safaricom users on their user profiles with a message that they should get an Airtel SIM card if they want to access Facebook with no data.
Safaricom has allegedly asked Facebook to remove the ads from Safaricom user profiles as they consider that hostile advertising. As much as Facebook is partnering with Airtel, Safaricom is quite big on Facebook ad has worked with them on projects previously including promoting posts on Facebook.
We are reaching out to Airtel to see what they think about this and will update you should we have any updates.