Facebook joins forces with 18 operators to offer discounted mobile messaging data in 14 countries

Facebook has teamed up with 18 operators across 14 countries in a bid to provide discounted access to its Messenger messaging service.

The promotions will be available "in the coming months" for users of Facebook for Android, Facebook for iOS and the feature phone-optimised Facebook for Every Phone platform. The discounts are designed to provide an alternative to text messaging while beefing up operators' mobile data customer bases, especially in emerging markets.

In Europe, the carriers taking part include Three in Ireland, TMN in Portugal, Tre in Italy, Vivacom in Bulgaria and Backcell in Azerbaijan, "This promotion will be available from more than 18 operators in 14 countries," the company said in a press release.

"Three out of every four people on Facebook send a message on the platform each month, making messaging one of the most popular activities on Facebook," Facebook said.

In a related development, the social media behemoth recently introduced a new feature in its app in North America through which users can make free video and voice calls.