The Dutch smartcard company Gemalto NV has developed an application that embeds Facebook on SIM cards, letting GSM phone users stay connected on Facebook without data plans.

This move will open up Facebook connectivity to all mobile phone users and break the requirement for the need to have a newer smart phone model.
Facebook for SIM application runs directly in the phone’s SIM card, uses the SMS technology, and gives users access to basic Facebook features such as friend requests, status updates, wall posts or messages.

The company declared this week, “With this announcement, Gemalto brings Facebook to millions of mobile phone users regardless of their handset type. Over 200 million people already use Facebook on handsets and those are twice as active as non-mobile users. By providing anytime, anywhere availability to the social network, Gemalto delivers on the growing demand for mobile connectivity all over the world.”

The app also offers unique functions: people can sign up for this service and log-in directly from the SIM application. Interactive Facebook messages pop-up on the phone’s screen so people can always share up-to-the-minute posts and events. Users can also automatically search their SIM phonebook for other friends and send them requests.

Interestingly timed as last years rumours about a Facebook phone are about to be realised as INQ Mobile and HTC release models of smartphones with deeply integrated Facebook functionality.

Whilst Gemalto’s work won’t compete directly with these new releases it seeks to expand mobile access to Facebook even further.