Facebook Making International Farming Moves

Facebook has been getting hammered on their privacy issues as of late, but two news items put the most popular social network back on the front burner. This time, however, it's from a business growth perspective.

The first bit of news comes from the farm — FarmVille that is.

FarmVille is arguably the most popular and successful social game on the web due to it's piggybacking on the most popular social network in the world, i.e. Facebook.

Well, today the two entities announced an agreement that will keep the popular game on the king of social networking for another five years.

This could be considered a big change of course, as last week. Of course, the Times of London reported that Facebook and Zynga, the creators of Farmville, were arguing over the game's currency system. Facebook currently takes a 30 percent commission of every real money interaction logged by FarmVille users. Zynga apparently called the cut prohibitive, and threatened to go solo.

Guess the chickens didn't leave the coop in this case.

The other bit of business development news for Facebook comes from international waters, of sorts.

Facebook launched a new international site, 0.Facebook.com, which  will be available in 45 countries through 50+ mobile and wireless network operators. The site is a slimmer version Facebook with most of the features from the mobile version of the social network — m.Facebook.com. The functionality includes status updates, a newsfeed, Likes, wall posts and comments.

0.Facebook.com will be free for users, regardless of data plan. It boasts 50+ launch partners to make the free, except for photos. Operators such as T-Mobile, Digicel, Vodafone and MTN all support the new site. Because of its partnership with mobile carriers, there are a few items in the fine print.

First, 0.Facebook.com is only available to people on networks and countries that support it. A full list of providers are here, though the list doesn't include the U.S., UK, Japan, China, Germany or any other nations with robust wireless data networks. The site is built for nations where wireless data plans are more expensive.

Article first published as Facebook Bets the Farm on Farmville and Makes International Push on Technorati