Facebook, the most popular social media platform with over two billion monthly active users, will also be available on JioPhone. The Facebook app will be available on JioPhone, also called as India ka smartphone starting tomorrow.
Reliance Jio says the new Facebook app has been built specifically for KaiOS powering the JioPhone. KaiOS is a web-based operating system based on Mozilla’s Firefox OS. The company says that availability of Facebook on JioPhone opens the media platform to potential 50 crore feature phone users in the country.
“JioPhone is the world’s most affordable smartphone built with transformational technology especially for Indians to migrate from a feature phone to a smartphone. As promised, JioPhone will be home to the world’s leading applications, starting with Facebook,” said Akash Ambani, Director, Jio.
In a statement, Reliance Jio says the app has been designed to offer a comprehensive experience of Facebook with core features like the ability to connect with people on the platform. It also supports push notifications, ability to watch video and links to external content shared by its users on the platform.
“We are excited about our partnership with Jio and the opportunity to provide the best possible Facebook experience for millions of people using JioPhone. Working with partners like Jio, we want to make sure everyone, everywhere has the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of being connected,” said Francisco Varela, Vice President of Mobile Partnerships, Facebook.
The app has also been optimized to accommodate the cursor function on the JioPhone and it also integrates Facebook’s most popular features like News Feed and Photos within the app. On the back of strong demand for JioPhone, Reliance Jio has grown to become the largest feature phone brand in the country.
According to IDC, the feature phone segment in India saw 17 percent annual growth last year mainly driven by large shipments of 4G enabled JioPhone by Reliance Jio. Reliance Jio itself has confirmed selling 6 million units of JioPhone when it was made available for purchase for the first time.
The feature phone is priced at Rs 1,500 but Reliance Jio will refund that amount after 36 months bringing the effective price down to zero. The feature phone users need to make mandatory recharge of Rs 153 every month in order to get the refund after three years.
Reliance JioPhone’s USP apart from its price is the ability to stream videos from Jio Apps. With the availability of Facebook, the 4G feature phone is seriously transforming into a smart feature phone. The Facebook app for JioPhone will be available via Jio App Store for both existing as well as new users. Now, JioPhone users can keep their hopes pinned on the launch of WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook.