3 lets customers access lightweight Facebook site for free

3 has collaborated with Facebook to offer its customers access to the free 0.facebook.com website.

Mobile-phone users on the 3 network can now access a basic version of Facebook for free, thanks to a collaboration between the operator and social-networking behemoth.

The free 0.facebook.com website is a lightweight version of mobile Facebook that loads more quickly because it's text-only. If you want to see a photo, you're out of luck -- you'll have to leave 0.facebook.com, and pay standard data charges. But those on 3 who only use the mobile Internet to update their Facebook status may never need to pay for mobile Web access again.

The move is a sign of the times, with Facebook being the first point of call for many people when browsing on either a computer or on a mobile. Many feature phones that don't browse the Web adeptly often have social-networking clients to make checking and updating statuses simple.

Access to 0.facebook.com will be free for at least a year, after which period 3 has reserved the right to change the terms.

It would be great if other mobile networks offered something like this for the many people who want Facebook access on budget phones without 3G connectivity. Something like 0.facebook.com would make it much easier to load Facebook over slower 2G connections.

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