Vodafone targets Facebook aficionados

MUMBAI: With the popularity of Facebook showing signs of leveling out, the next phase seems to be grounded in the falling prices of smartphones that connects with the social networking site any time, anywhere.

Targeting this market is the new ‘Vodafone 555 Blue‘ aka the ‘Facebook Phone‘, which focuses only at Facebook ficionados unwilling to buy a full-fledged smartphone.

Vodafone 555 Blue offers a dedicated Facebook button and contains a proprietary operating system. The users are directly logged in to their Facebook accounts, as soon as they turn the device on. The new handset, offers unlimited access to Facebook for a year from the date of purchase. Facebook widgets get you the latest updates instantly and the QWERTY keyboard makes short work of posting status updates or comments.

Early this year, Facebook made similar agreements with device manufacturers INQ and HTC. With nearly 33 million users in India, Facebook is way ahead of other social networking sites such as Google‘s Orkut, the latest competitor, Google+, and micro-blogging site Twitter.

Vodafone Essar chief marketing officer Kumar Ramanathan said, "Vodafone Blue is the answer to our youth‘s mobile social networking needs. The phone has been designed to let everyone experience the fun of connecting with friends on the go, at a pocket friendly price. With our unique, fully integrated Facebook customisation, the Vodafone Blue offers a compelling, out-of-the-box experience."

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