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Facebook Acquires Feature Phone App Maker Snaptu 62

Krystalo writes "Facebook has agreed to acquire Snaptu, an Israeli startup that makes Java-based feature phone apps, for an estimated $70 million. The acquisition, for which neither company would reveal financial details, is expected to close within a few weeks. Earlier this year, Facebook worked with the mobile development firm to build a feature phone app that is accessible free of data charges in various overseas markets. The company says the Facebook for Feature Phones app currently works on more than 2,500 devices."
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Facebook Acquires Feature Phone App Maker Snaptu

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  • Remember all the rumors of a "Facebook phone"? Whatever happened to that?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Remember all the rumors of a "Facebook phone"? Whatever happened to that?

      The Facebook phones are HTC Salsa and HTC ChaCha

  • "accessible free of data charges in various overseas markets" Can anyone clarify for me how this works? Using a web app doesn't incur data fees?!
    • by !eopard ( 981784 )
      No idea about other countries, but some Telcos in Australia offer(ed) free Facebook access plus various other 'sites' on your monthly plan - however all the ones I've ever seen supplemented *existing* data plans - doesn't explain how this works though.
      I've used Snaptu as a light interface for accessing FB, when the other applications weren't working or just annoying me (looking at you Nokia S^3!)
    • by Rennt ( 582550 )
      I imagine it will be something akin to this [], works on any GSM phone, data plan or no.
  • subject says it all.

    • Ignoring the wedding story from this/yesterday morning, the last Facebook article was on Wednesday. I think you're over-reacting.
  • 2,500 devices - are there really that many models of smart phone out there? I know there are a lot but not that many. Or do they mean that 2,500 users have this app installed?

    Also I wonder how that "accessible free of data charges" is supposed to work. Is that a special contract or so? I have seen phone companies offering pretty cheap data plans with small amount of data, plus unlimited data for Facebook, Twitter and Gmail. Something like that, details I forgot, not interested myself, just interesting that

    • by Rennt ( 582550 ) on Monday March 21, 2011 @03:58AM (#35556936)
      They're not talking about smart phones. Feature phones traditionally don't have user-installable apps, but ship with a couple of applications (or "features" if you will) installed by default. Pretty much every single phone released in the last 10 years that isn't a smart phone is a feature phone.
      • Tx, I never heard of that expression before.
      • Funnily enough, I think your definition of feature phone is a bit wrong, to say the least. I have a Nokia 3500 Classic, which is old and it is a feature phone - but I can (could) install any app for System 40 that I wanted to. I could even download them to my PC and then use a USB cable to transfer that app to my oldish featurephone.

        • by Rennt ( 582550 )

          Its' a rough definition to be sure, but it is certainly accurate to say that when the term "feature phone" was coined phones were defined as such because of the features that they came with.

          You don't seriously think the 3500 is old do you? My first feature phone was a WAP-enabled Siemens cira 1997 - ten years older then then your 3500. USB cables was unheard of. Third party apps just plain didn't exist.

          • Yes, I am dead serious when I say the 3500 classic is old - I cannot buy any official accessories for it, I couldn't buy it (the phone itself) a few years at least, it's 4 years since it was released, I cannot buy even an un-official (non-Nokia) replacement case...

            It's still going strong, though, and with a 2 GB MicroSD card, it really does all I need. I think my next phone (whenever this gives up its ghost) will be another 3500 classic.

  • This is a great program for the not-so-smart phones like my "Sony Ericsson W610i". It gives easy access to Twitter as well as many other sites. I hope Facebook will still allow us to access Twitter.
  • How can they say they won't reveal any financial details when they have already disclosed the purchase price? Or, is that not a financial detail?

    • by DMFNR ( 1986182 )
      It says an estimated $70M. I imagine the estimates are probably made by economist type people who have a good handle on what the value of the company is.
  • We should still be discussing what AT&T just did to the economy by dumping $39 Billion on T-Mobile to remove the only agile competitor from the market. $70M for a few wigets doesn't seem to rate a line in the classifieds.

Forty two.