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Operation world domination, phase 23

Facebook's slow domination of the world continues apace. Having become the number one social network and one of the world's busiest websites, it's now seeking to extend its reach beyond the reach of the internet itself. There are billions of people in developing countries who have mobile phones, and no computers, and Facebook is determined to get them poking, chatting and status-updating.

Of course, Facebook has had mobile phone and smartphone versions of its website for some time. But what about websites that are too basic to show even the mobile version? To tackle them, Facebook has just bought Snaptu.

You might not have heard of Snaptu, but in developing countries it's been the mobile innovation of the year. It's a program that can be installed on fairly basic mobile phones, which offers users access to a suite of apps for services like Twitter, MySpace, news - and Facebook. Predictably, the Facebook app has proven the most popular. And now Facebook has paid a reported £43 million to bring London-based Snaptu into its fold.

The other services offered by Snaptu probably won't go away, but won't benefit from any further development, with the team devoting all its attention to enhancing its Facebook for Feature Phones app.

'We soon decided that working as part of the Facebook team offered the best opportunity to keep accelerating the pace of our product development. And joining Facebook means we can make an even bigger impact on the world,' the founders said on their blog.

The deal has certainly had a big impact on their bank balance.

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