back to article Facebook gets creative with mobile phone data harvesting app

Facebook wants to hook into mobile phone users who don't necessarily have a profile set up on the dominant social network. The company has launched a service in the US that's a separate app linking messages in Facebook with texts, chats and emails on a mobile phone. In effect, the Web2.0 outfit has tapped into the SMS market …


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  1. Havin_it

    Couldn't you just ... I dunno ...

    ... text them?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      You could....

      ...but that's like having to talk to your "friends" instead of posting mindless drivel on a data-harvesting advertising platform.

    2. rcdicky
      Thumb Up

      Maybe but...

      It's handy for group messaging and these messages won't come out of any SMS allowance

      There's a lot of people still who don't have high (or unlimited) text bundles

      It's less relevant than it would have been a few years back but still has it's uses, I guess...

  2. Anonymous Coward


    I already get a bazillion free sms messages a month on my contract. Data however has a limit of 500mb. Why on earth would I waste precious data allowance on something I can do for free?

    1. wag

      We don't all have the same contract

      I've gone for a package with unlimited data and unlimited SMS messaging - but I very nearly went for one with unlimited data and just 100 SMS messages per month. So meh to you too.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    this isn't good...

    So now people are going to be encouraged to give facebook my f*cking mobile number without any say-so from me which will presumably then be made available to various advertising firms? As the facebook T&Cs seem to essentially state that anything they have uploaded to them becomes their property, is there even any legal recourse to prevent them from selling my details that I didn't agree to give them? The time to start blocking all unknown numbers gets ever closer.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Ambulance Chasers etc

      I do that already. Fed up "According to our records you haven't claimed for a personal injury".

      1. PaulR79

        Ugh! Personal Injury Texts...

        Out of nowhere I started to get these over the past month. One was the initial text that included the mandatory "reply with STOP to receive no more messages" then, to my surprise and annoyance, I received another reminding me I still hadn't claimed and again offering me the chance to use "STOP". Both messages came from a mobile number and I've been registered with the TPS for many years now.

        Is there some way to track down which network a mobile is registered to? I really want to report this as spam and for ignoring the request to stop.

        1. Steven Burn


          Phone numbers can be traced to the network operator using;

    2. Steve K Silver badge

      TPS online (at least for the UK)

      My mobile numebr is registered with TPS online in the UK. I realise that this is a voluntary industry-led scheme, but surely Facebook or its advertisers will have to crosscheck against this before spamming away (unless SMS messages aren't in the scope of TPS online)?

    3. Anonymous Coward

      So, be ready with a complaint to the ICO...

      ... in the vague hope that doing so will make any difference.

      My worry is that the FB app might decide to siphon a phone book all on its own without even asking. It's the sort of thing FB's business ethos would encourage.

      Will be keeping a weather eye on this, I hope that a deluge of complaints would follow any playing fast and loose by FB.

  4. James 51


    This would be cheaper, at least in cash terms than texting but I won't be using it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "" In other words the app, which requires Facebook login credentials to work, can send phone

    "" messages to individuals who aren't signed up to the world's largest social network.

    Oh, great. No matter how much I avoid FB, my mobile number can get sucked into it anyway.

  6. xyz


    So if an exGF of mine from x years ago keeps my mobile number and is on facebook, I'm forever linked to her. So if I ever beome a "suspect" they've got my name and mobile number and therefore it's not long before I'm triangulated.This is way beyond "social networking" and is downright "spooky." Suppose the old FBI jokes weren't that off target.

  7. David Simpson 1


    A surprise that this is not out for Windows Phone due to Microsoft and Facebook being in bed together, but lets face facts Windows Mobile had 16% of the market since the launch of Windows Phone 7 that has dropped to 1%. Only Nokia can save them now, so long as someone shows up to save Nokia too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I believe there are a couple of reasons there is not a WP app, over and above the smaller user base for WP7.

      1) I don't believe the APIs exist for contact integration as yet. This is the reason there is no WhatsApp application (according to an email I got from them asking about it).

      2) MS are planning to integrate FB messages, email, SMS & IM into the 'People' hub or contacts area with Mango, i.e. all communications appear in the same format as an SMS conversation does. I suspect MS wouldn't want FB to get in before them.


  8. Naughtyhorse

    Mobile Number to FB?????

    That's the metaphorical equivalent of flopping your wedding tackle into a lion's mouth and flicking his love spuds with a wet towel. Total insanity.

    get the fuck outta here

    1. hollowsyndicate

      red dwarf quotes ftw

      no thanks facebook :)

  9. B4PJS

    Not needed on WP7

    Facebook messenger is already integrated into the OS (As of Mango anyway). I already chat to the wife via threaded FB and texts from my phone, I just don't have to "Have An App For That" rather "It Just Works". Plus WP7 has Live messenger integrated as well, therefore I have a much better overall experience unified in the OS.

  10. dssf

    What a smoldering, putrid crock

    What BULLSHIT!

    Some people refuse to have fb accounts to avoid being ensared in the tech and any associated bullshit. Now, fb and others want to "out" any legit humans by name who don't WANT social net accounts and don't want to have their associations mapped. They don't even get a CHOICE

    Even those who are only mobile-phone text friends and who DO have fb or other social networking accounts don't necessarily have or indicate mutual friendships inside of fb. They may be exes, or may work for competitors, or otherwise. And, it'll just be a matter of time before someone carelessly adds or submits or uploads to fb the details of another person who won't have a yes/no choice about fb learning of the association. It isn't enough that subscribers' FRIENDS are in the dart about relations or associations. fb are not privvy to EVERYthing, and need to learn to behave accordingly before their shared databases get exposed someday.

  11. Nights_are_Long


    I avoid facebook like the plague, now they want my friends who have accounts to contact me who chooses not to have a account to be contacted via facebook, No sorry and if this dose land in the UK and get's shipped with any phone I own I will find a way of removing this application all together.

    And I would also seriously consider going to see a solicitor about breach of privacy.

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  13. Dennis Wilson

    Waste of of effort.

    For two days a lot of people, me included, have been getting text when a person posts with the poster's phone number included.

    Why the hell do i need to harvest it with an application?

  14. Matt 6
    Big Brother

    this may not come as a surprise but...

    Most people already (unknowingly) store all their mobile phonebook data on FB. Therefore, if you have friends on FB with a mobile + FB app, your mobile number probably is too.

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