Facebook Mobile app for Java: FREE Access on SMART

Update: Thie free trial ended October 31. Service is still available at just P10/day.  Read all the details here. 

In response to some recent Tweets I made, I received a few questions from people curious about SMART’s free offer on Facebook. Yes, it’s true that the Facebook Mobile app for java phones is offered for free on SMART. That means, free to download and free to use – Internet charges are waived. After hearing enough of these questions, I decided to write it down here for a ready reference for anyone curious.

“Facebook for All”

SMART just launched a “Facebook for All” campaign which offers pinoys different ways to access Facebook on Mobile depending on your budget and the mobile technology available to you.

Why Facebook? Like it or not, Facebook represents the Internet to many Filipinos. Based on the latest stats, over 25M Filipinos are on Facebook. Considering there’s an estimated total of 26M online Filipinos,  that’s over a 90% penetration of the PH online population. In fact, Comscore rates the Philippines as#1 worldwide in terms of Facebook penetration.

And now the Facebook communication experience can be made more mobile for more Filipinos.

One of the Facebook services offered in the lineup is the new Facebook Mobile app for java phones. Through SMART’s partnership with Facebook, data access for users of this app on SMART is FREE for a 3-month trial period (ending October).

This brings the “Facebook App” experience of smartphone users (typically on Android, iOS, and Blackberry) available to feature phone users, and at no cost to try it out.

Facebook also refers to this as “Facebook For Every Phone” in its international campaign, and this was rolled out globally on the week of July 12. This app runs only on java handsets for now. Here’s the video that Facebook released for this that explains the vision for this type of app:

So what’s a Feature Phone? 

Feature phones are typically Java-capable (can run Java apps like games) and can access the mobile internet, but don’t have full-fledged smartphone operating systems. Smartphone use is still tiny in the Philippines (single digit market shares), while Feature Phones have been around since the heyday of MMS.

This is a wide range of phones (Facebook claims 2,500 models) that includes old favorites like Nokia Series 40, Nokia Series 60, Sony Ericsson, and those new inexpensive China-made MTK phones from the likes of MyPhone, Cherry Mobile, etc.

Here’s a step-by-step procedure for installing the free app on a java-capable feature phone on SMART:

1. First of all make sure the phone is set up to access the Internet.

2. Text the command “FB” to 211

3. You will receive a free text with the download link (http://fbapp.smart.com.ph)

4. On many phones, you can just click on the URL in the SMS to connect to the download link.

5. Your java phone will download the app (a small file, around 120KB) and install it. On SMART this download is “zero-rated”, aka FREE.

6. Locate and Run the app. (depending on what phone you have this will be installed in a folder like “games”, “Installed” etc.)

7. Here’s what the app looks like running on my antique Nokia 6680:

8. Using the app is FREE during the 3-month trial period. Keep it on as long as you want.

9. As long as you’re using the Facebook features (newsfeed, comments, likes, photos, etc) use of the app is free. If you try to access 3rd party applications available in the program – this will lead you out of the Facebook app and you may be charged for access – there will be a warning shown on your screen if you venture out of the free zone.

As long as you stick to the Facebook features – you should have no worries about charging and you can continue to use the app for Free.

Update: Here’s a video that demonstrates how to install the app on SMART.


Update: Here is a phone compatibility listing in Google Docs directly maintained by Facebook. You can check this list to see if your phone is compatible with the app.  If not, you can still try it out yourself.  Facebook claims “2,500 phones”.

75 thoughts on “Facebook Mobile app for Java: FREE Access on SMART

    1. You can’t install it on Android – this free offer is strictly for the Java app. For Android, download the Facebook for Android app from the Android marketplace. However standard data charges apply for the Andrid app, it’s not free.

    1. Yes as long as you’re using the java app and you don’t venture outside the app (like click on URLs etc) it’s free (i.e. “zero rated”). Even on postpaid.

  1. i downloaded the signed version of facebook mobile before but then one of my friend deleted it..now it’s hard for me to download it again because it’s signed version cannot be downloaded..what will i do??

    1. Well you can try the download link again – go to http://fbapp.smart.com.ph – you might receive some error message which after you press the asterisk is really Facebook’s prompt to download the signed version. You will get a link to download the signed version, just reinstall it.

  2. hi. i already downloaded the java app and all my internet settings are ok. i can access wap sites using the default browser of my moto v3, but when im using the java app, it kept on saying that either my phone is not properly configured or i should check my internet settings. any suggestions/fix on this? thanks.

    1. Facebook says that’s because it turns out your phone needs a signed version of the app. So that message tells you to press the asterisk. When you press the asterisk it will ask you to download the signed version of the app. Download that and you should be OK. (Hey don’t blame us for that procedure, it’s Facebook’s app!

    1. Take a look at the box or manual of your MyPhone model – if it says “Supports Java applications” (or has the word “Java” somewhere in all the specs) then most like it will run, try it. You won’t find “MyPhone” listed in the handset list provided by Facebook they haven’t heard of it – because the MyPhone brand only exists in the Philippines but the phone itself is engineered and made in China.

    1. Is your “Tintele” phone set up for mobile internet on Smart?

      Try configuring it automatically by sending the command SET to 211.

      If that doesn’t do anything, edit your network APN settings and enter “internet” as your APN.

      If that doesn’t work, ask your “Tintele” dealer how to set it up.

  3. hi.. i just want to ask.. is blackberry pearl 8100 can install facebook mobile java?.. coz when i tried to install it always lead me to error 404: page cant found browse link (fbapp.smart.com.ph).. any help would be great.. thanks in advance

    1. Before anything else, Google your phone model to see if it supports java apps.

      1. Send FB to 211
      2. Get the link, download the app
      3. Try to activate it
      4. If that doesn’t work the first time, Facebook may ask you to “download a signed version”
      5. If that doesn’t work either, then sorry Facebook does not support the phone. But if you can run other java apps, most likely it will.

    1. Well it’s an Internet app, so you need to connect to the Internet, either Wi-Fi or 3G (or 2G). But strictly speaking, not all java apps need an internet connection.

    1. Do you still have the box or manual of your phone?? Does your T23 phone support java apps?? Did you ask MyPhone?? If it supports java, it will most likely run the app. Don’t expect to find this model in the spreadsheet of supported phones provided by Facebook, they have probably never heard of myphone. But you are welcome to try.

  4. pede b2 s samsung galaxy mini n s5570 at pede b n download me muna s computer then copy me nlng s pone me then install,, tnx

    1. Pede siguro. Google your pone specs and see if it supports java. Kung pede u can try it out. Download is free. Pede rin downland muna s computer then upload nlng to pone. Pero doble ang trabaho mo .tnx

  5. Hmmm seems like most of you have the same question asked over and over again – will the app run on my phone??

    Quick answer: Do the ff. steps:

    1. Google your phone model. Find out if your phone supports java apps. If it does most likely it will run Facebook’s java app.

    2. Check this URL for a phone list maintained by Facebook. Look for your phone model.


    3. If all else fails. JUST TRY DOWNLOADING IT. Text FB to 211 or point your mobile browser to http://fbapp.smart.com.ph. Make sure your phone is set up for mobile internet and your APN is set to “internet” .

    4. If you have questions you can visit the FB for All support site at http://smart.com.ph/facebook4all and leave a question in the feedback form.

    5. All app related questions “Why doesn’t it run on my phone XXXXXX?” will be sent to Facebook. It is their app after all.

  6. yesterday i enjoyed using this free facebook from smart but now when i used it, it says conection failed. check your internet setting…but i already check it…what should i do…tnx

      1. How do I upload photo using this app? Can’t seem to find the right button to this. I can post status but can’t figure out where to upload pics. My homescreen looks like the one on your Cherry, not like the one on the video.

    1. You should follow steps 1-5 above. I’m not Cherry, I would suggest you ask them… but since I’m a nice guy, I’ll ask Cherry. But I suggest you also try contacting them, it’s their phone they know it better than anyone. I tried the app on a Cherry Q300 – that’s the phone in the photos.

      No use asking Facebook, they don’t have Cherry phones to test in Palo Alto 🙂

    1. Nope, the app is a JAVA app for Java-compatible phones. Blackberrries don’t support java apps so they aren’t supported. Use the Blackberry version of the Facebook app instead.

    1. Have you checked the list of compatible phones provided by Facebook? The key is to find out if your phone supports Java apps. Check the manual. If it does, then it’s most likely supported.

    1. Correction – that is Facebook’s app, not Smart’s.
      If that phone supports Java it should be supported. Just to be sure check Facebook’s list of supported phones – link is in the article.

      SMS queue might be clogged. Try connecting directly to the download link at http://fbapp.smart.com.ph

  7. please java,bakit natapos n ang service mo s phone bawt d facebook…sobrang lungkot n mga subscriber mo..balik mo nman ulit..pls..pls..pls..pls..

    1. Text the word FB to 211 – this will return the download link http://fbapp.smart.com.ph – I don’t know if that will work if you type it in a web browser. I also don’t know if it will download the java files so you can sideload to your phone. What I suggest is if your phone has wi-fi do the download direct to your phone.

  8. hello my phone is iphone 3g but it cannot open the link so that i will use the free acces of facebook. hindi ko alam kung anong settings niya para maopen.thank u.

  9. im using htc desire s, panu ko po ba malalaman kung anung OS ? so hindi po ako pede gumamit nung free fb ng smart? sayang naman kasi free gang july 8.

    1. The HTC Desire S is an Android phone. This will not run the Facebook Java app. The free trial is only applicable to users of the Java app. Not Android users, sorry!

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