Facebook Is Giving Away Free Mobile Data to Some Users
Technology Editor, CNBC.com
Facebook may not have its own smartphone yet, but the company is still making a major push into mobile services.
The social network has partnered with more than 18 mobile operators in 14 countries to provide free or discounted data access for users of Facebook's messaging service, the company announced Sunday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
The move is aimed at users in emerging markets and will be available on Messenger for Android, Messenger for Apple's iOS and on Facebook for Every Phone, which is the company's app that works on more than 2,500 different phones.
(Read More: Facebook Wants You to Pay to Promote Friends' Posts)
Facebook has been pushing to grow its mobile messaging app and has been rolling out new features hoping to lure new users in.
In December, the company expanded its app to anyone with a mobile phone, allowing anyone with a name and phone number to sign up for Facebook Messenger.
(Read More: Facebook's New Plan to Grow Revenue)
In January, the social network updated its app to allow iPhone users to place calls over a WiFi network.
(Read More: Facebook Messenger App Now Lets You Make Calls)
The new free and discounted data access will be available in the coming months in specific operators in the following countries: TMN in Portugal, Three in Ireland, Airtel and Reliance in India, Vivacom in Bulgaria, Bakcell in Azerbaijan, Indosat, Smartfren, AXIS and XL Axiata in Indonesia, SMART in Philippines, DiGi in Malaysia, DTAC in Thailand, Viva in Bahrain, STC in Saudi Arabia, Oi in Brazil, Etisalat in Egypt, and Tre in Italy.