Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has announced partnerships with several carriers in a bid to offer free or discounted access to its messaging services. This step is the latest in the social media giant’s efforts to push its services out to more mobile users.

Facebook Messenger1

Today Facebook released details of the partnerships on its website. It’s partnering with a total of 18 different operators across 14 countries. The services to be included in the free or discounted access include the use of Messenger for Android, Facebook for Every Phone and Messenger for iOS.

The carriers which have committed to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s free or reduced price program include: Portugal’s TMN; Ireland’s Three; India’s Airtel and Reliance; Bulgaria’s Vivacom; Azerbaydzhan’s Backcell; Indonesia’s Indosat, XL Axiata, AXIS, and Smartfren; the Philippines’ SMART; Malaysia’s DiGi; Thailand’s DTAC; Bahrain’s Viva; Saudi Arabia’s STC; Brazil’s Oi; Egypt’s Etisalat; and Italy’s Tre mobile network.

All Things D points out the importance of the networks Facebook has chosen to partner with. The nations Facebook is targeting aren’t necessarily those in which it has an especially strong presence. This is important because it gives the social media company a chance to expand by offering its services for free or at a reduced price compared to other messaging services in the countries. It also will allow those who don’t have a Facebook account currently to use the messaging services so they can try the site out before they dive in and create an account.

This partnership is not a permanent offer, so it could last anywhere from a few months or a little bit longer, depending on the country and the carrier.

Shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) are up more than 1 percent in Monday morning trades.

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