Facebook, Google Talk, and MSN Instant Messenger services are letting ForgetMeNot help grow there user base in places like Africa by delivering status updates, posts and chat as text messages on these ‘dumb phones’. Google is also offering Gmail in this same way. Receiving messages is free and replying costs the same as a regular SMS.
Music downloads, mobile payments and instant messaging may be common place in the developed world but in Kenya, the uptake of smartphones has been slower, particularly with many living on low incomes.
Spencer Kelly reports on how Kenyan entrepreneurs are convincing the tech goliaths like Facebook, Google and Microsoft to jump over the Atlantic and help grow their user base on even the simplest of phones – known as “dumb phones”.