Gemalto, a French mobile technology company, announced a SIM card with built-in access to Facebook. This is a pretty impressive technological achievement — a SIM card doesn’t have a lot of room for that kind of computer code — but it’s a huge deal for a whole other reason.The reason is that it opens a new market of around a billion people to Facebook.
Today mobile growth is biggest in emerging and developing countries where people “leapfrog” the fixed internet and go straight to mobile. These are also the markets Facebook needs to fuel its future growth — it now owns most of the US and Europe and it looks like it’s not coming to China soon.
The SIM cards allow literally any phone to have access with Facebook, even so-called “dumb phones”, through text messaging. Believe it or not, social networking by text is big business in emerging countries; India’s SMS Gupshup, for example, has over 40 million users. Text messaging can be expensive, but Facebook already has deals in place with many emerging country carriers to let users access Facebook for free.
The future of tech is mobile and emerging, and it seems Facebook has a front row seat.
To see how much this matters, don’t miss Mary Meeker’s latest amazing presentation on the future of tech →
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