You cannot the refute the fact that Facebook is one of the biggest social networks in Kenya. Millions of Kenyans use the 15 year old social network and mostly through the idea of buying data bundles to access it.
There is still a sub-sect of the populace that cannot afford to buy these bundles to access the Internet. Facebook and Safaricom seems to be targeting this sub sect in a way with a new promotion.
If you login on Facebook in data mode, Safaricom will give you free access to Facebook, but there are limitations. You’ll only get upto 20MB to use for your updates and each time you login this way, you’ll get access to the free mode for 30 days.
The 20MB data cap will limit the kind of posts you will send on Facebook. You’ll be limited to sending posts or very low quality media since higher quality media will gobble up more data.
If you leave this version of Facebook to view content outside the social network like clicking on links to articles or videos, you will start using your data plan.
There is also the point about the terms and conditions of the service. Facebook will share some user information with Safaricom so that they can ‘evaluate the success of the service.’ Here is a snippet from the notice.
“In order to help us evaluate the success of this service, and to enable us and your operator to understand your use of Facebook’s services, we may exchange some limited info with Safaricom (including any of its group companies). This includes info like your phone number, the amount of data you use and your load and promo balance. This also lets us evaluate the success of this service.“
The whole idea of free Facebook is not new. Safaricom had this service periodically over time and as early as 2010. This is not for everybody but it could prove useful to some people that would benefit greatly from the free Facebook.