Telstra Withdrawing Access to Facebook Zero
OutlineCirculating rumours claiming that Australian telecommunications giant Telstra is set to withdraw access to Facebook Zero are causing concern and consternation.
The rumours are true. Telstra has announced that access to Facebook Zero (0.facebook.com) will end on April 8, 2014. The move has also been discussed - and hotly debated - on Telstra's 24x7 Facebook Page.
Facebook Zero is a service provided by Facebook in collaboration with various mobile phone service providers. It provides users with a stripped down data-only version of Facebook's mobile website and is accessed via 0.facebook.com.
The providers waive data charges for accessing Facebook Zero so the service has been popular with Telstra users who do not have or cannot afford ongoing plans or data allowances. People using prepaid options can still access Facebook and communicate with their friends and family even if they are out of credit. Some users have suggested that the facility is an important safety measure for children, should they need to contact parents and have no phone credit.
In fact, one user has even created a Change.org petition asking Telstra to reconsider its decision to discontinue the service.
But, Telstra maintains that the majority of its mobile customers now access Facebook via the normal m.facebook mobile site or via specific Facebook apps. The company notes on its 24x7 Facebook page that it "will not be reconsidering this decision at this point in time" and urges concerned users to contact staff to discuss alternative data allowance offers.
Just a typical case of a big company putting profits ahead of users? Or is Telstra simply withdrawing a service that is no longer widely used as it claims? Either way, barring a last minute backflip - or perhaps divine intervention - Facebook Zero will be no more for Telstra users come April 8, 2014.