Forget about the Mark Zuckerberg you saw Jesse Eisenberg portray in The Social Network. Facebook likes dumb. Heck, it courts dumb. Not dumb people, but dumb phones, thanks to a new app the company calls "Facebook for Every Phone." Here's a closer look at it:
Thrilled? Frightened? Either way, it seems there's nowhere you can go that Facebook can't follow. This is partly why Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) new social-media service is catching on. Users like the idea of fine-grained control over who gets to see them living digitally.
Who wins with the new app? Facebook, certainly, but also carriers. Anything that gets users to adopt profitable data plans is a win for those who carry it. Right now, the list includes only overseas telcos, such as India's Aircel and Vodafone (Nasdaq: VOD ) in Turkey.
When the service arrives in the U.S. -- as far as I can tell, no timetable has been set -- expect AT&T (NYSE: T ) , Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) , and Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S ) to opt in. Feature phones aren't as app-savvy as smart handsets, so they're less likely to consume huge amounts of data and cause problems for overburdened networks.
But again, Facebook is the big winner here. The app gives the social network access to hundreds of millions, if not billions, more users and petabytes of new data for social marketing. Call it just another way Zuck's empire is trying to earn a $100 billion valuation.
Do you agree? Disagree? Weigh in using the comments box below. And if you're interested in more ways to profit from mobile commerce, try this free special report. In it, you'll learn about a stock that my Foolish colleagues believe is poised to profit from expanding broadband access but has yet to take off. Get immediate access -- it's 100% free.