Facebook Messenger lets us sign up with just a name and phone number on Android today, iOS soon

Shooting the breeze using Facebook's mobile messaging service is about to get a lot cheaper. The social network is teaming up with 18 carriers in 14 countries to provide free or heavily discounted data to its customers. That way, you'll be able to keep talking about who said what (and to whom!) without any resulting bill shock. Networks involved include TMN in Portugal, Three in Ireland, Airtel and Reliance in India. For the full list and a terse set of remarks from The Haus of Zuckerberg, peek past the break.

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Today we're announcing partnerships with mobile operators to provide free or discounted data access to Facebook messaging for their subscribers.

Through this promotion, free or discounted data access will be available in the coming months on Messenger for Android, Messenger for iOS and Facebook for Every Phone, which is now optimized for chat.

This promotion will be available from more than 18 operators in 14 countries. Operators committed to special pricing for Facebook messaging include TMN in Portugal, Three in Ireland, Airtel and Reliance in India, Vivacom in Bulgaria, Backcell in Azerbaydzhan, Indosat, Smartfren, AXIS and XL Axiata in Indonesia, SMART in Philippines, DiGi in Malaysia, DTAC in Thailand, Viva in Bahrain, STC in Saudi Arabia, Oi in Brazil, Etisalat in Egypt, and Tre in Italy.

Messaging on Facebook lets people connect with friends and contacts on the go, regardless of what device they are using. 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. Today, Facebook messaging and chat can be accessed from more than 6,000 mobile phones via Facebook Messenger, Facebook for iOS and Android, Facebook for Every Phone, m.facebook.com and across other devices with Facebook integration.