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Updated: Facebook Inks Mobile Deal In India With SMS Gupshup

facebook-smsgupshup Update

It’s official: we’ve just received a press release from SMS Gupshup confirming what we had reported last week: the company has tied up with Facebook for SMS updates. It appears that the long code we’ve mentioned below (92FACEBOOK) is the one being powered by Gupshup for Facebook in India.

Original Story (July 21st, 2009, 14:07pm)

Facebook is being more social in terms of partnerships in India, than competitor Orkut.

MediaNama has learned from reliable sources that Facebook is expading its mobile base in India by taking a carrier-agnostic route by partnering with text messaging based community SMS Gupshup, a company funded by Helion Ventures and Charles River Ventures. When contacted, SMS Gupshup CEO Beerud Sheth declined to comment on the development.

This deal helps Facebook increase its accessibility to SMS users, by taking a telecom-operator agnostic route, while an increase in status updates via SMS would help both companies generate revenues. It not that Facebook is ignoring the carriers, though – in April this year, Facebook had tied up with Tata Indicom, and also has a partnership with Aircel.

We haven’t been able to gather more details on the SMS GupShup partnership, except that it involves most of the features of Facebook Mobile. One key element will be the pricing of the SMS: it’s likely that though updates will be free, like in case of messages from SMS GupShup, status updates will be a premium SMS, charged at Rs. 3.  We haven’t been able to confirm this, though. In case of Tata Indicomeach SMS to the shortcode 51555, cost Re 1.

As of today, according to Facebook Mobile, the social networking site has a tie-up with Tata Indicom, and for other carriers, uses the number 9232232665 (92FACEBOOK).

facebook-mobile-india

There’s a distinct differences in strategy being adopted by competing social networking websites Facebook and Orkut in India: while Orkut appears to be virtually going at it alone, and perhaps complacent in its dominence of social networking in India, Facebook has been aggressively exploring partnerships with media companies and telecom operators, and mounting a serious challenge to Orkut. Details of Facebooks partnerships in India.

Related:

— Updated: Facebook Usage In India Grows As Orkut Misses A Trick
— Google & Facebook Battle Over ‘Connect’ Distribution; Indic Language Support
— Updated: Facebook Goes Mobile In India With Tata Indicom

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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