MANILA, Philippines – Facebook is now free. Well, in some cases.
On Thursday March 19, Facebook, in partnership with newly launched Internet.org and a slew of select sites, became free to access for anyone using the Smart network.
Although it is unquestionable how valuable this free service is for a country often dubbed the "social media capital of the world," one also has to assess the quality of this free Internet service.
Taking a look at the free version of Facebook, any initial worries vanish: it generally still looks like the Facebook site we've come to love.
Free Facebook is easy to navigate, the main pages are available on the top menu and the timeline and profiles still use the scroll down function.
Liking and commenting is as easy as it was in Facebook's previous versions, where a new page would be opened, but the load time is quick so it isn't a hindrance.
Perhaps the biggest change is the lack of colorful photos we've become used to on our timelines. From profile photos to fresh uploads and even our beloved stickers, there are no images to be seen.
The only exception is the display photo at the top of a person's profile page.
The messaging – which is another feature we were worried about – has a neat layout and quick load times; replying and adding stickers is fast and easy.
This new free Facebook accessible through the Smart network is user-friendly, takes almost no time to load, and is ultimately a great step forward in the initiative to bring free access to the Internet in the country. – Rappler.com