Free Facebook Alerts on your Mobile Phone
January 31st, 2009
Many people probably aren’t aware that they can receive totally free SMS text alerts from Facebook on their mobile phone through Facebook Mobile.
Important: Several visitors from the US have contacted me to say that they are charged for receiving Facebook alerts. Please check with your mobile network first to avoid unexpected charges.
Receiving Facebook Alerts
You’ll need to sign up with Facebook Mobile to receive alerts (alerts are free unless your network or carrier charges you to receive texts). According to Facebook, the supported networks and carriers at present are:
- USA: AT&T, Boost, Cingular, Helio, Nextel, Sprint, Verizon, Virgin Mobile USA
- Canada: Bell Mobility, Fido, MTO, Rogers, Sasktel, Solo Mobile, TELUS, Virgin Mobile Canada
- UK: O2
One of my friends uses Facebook Mobile on a different mobile network which is not listed on this list and I’m told it works. So if your network isn’t on this list, it might work for you but your milage may vary. If you end up getting charged by your network, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Once you have verified your phone number through a confirmation code, you can choose to receive alerts of:
- Messages (I chose only to receive alerts of messages from people on my friends list to avoid spammy texts)
- Comments on your photos and notes
- Posts on your wall
- Friend requests
- Status updates of selected friends (This seems very stalkerish to me. I strongly recommend against using this. I don’t know why you would want to know what one of your friends was doing 24/7 and I don’t think they would you to either).
An option which is probably worth considering is to disable alerts between 10pm at night and 9am in the morning – after all you want to be able to switch off at the end of the day and to get some proper sleep without being interrupted by a Facebook alert.
Note that if you reply to these alerts (e.g. to respond to a message or to confirm a friend request) you will be using the “Facebook Texts” service and may get charged unless you have a free text allowance. More info on Facebook Texts on a later post.
I'm a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005 with the aim of demystifying mobile technology for the rest of us.
Before writing about mobile technology, my background was in space & atmospheric physics. I have also worked in software development. Nowadays, I help companies to explain mobile technology to their customers. Please check out my portfolio or get in touch for more information. I'm also on Google+.