Jul 30, 2014 10:52 PM EDT
Sprint will soon offer a social media-only wireless plan for about $12 a month. The plan will allow users to only connect to one social media program.
The wireless user will be able to choose if they want to connect to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. For $10 more, they could connect to all four. For another $5 a month users will be able to enjoy unlimited streaming music from their favorite music app.
The plan is offered from Sprint's prepaid partner Virgin Mobile. Sprint and other wireless carriers are trying to experiment by offering affordable partial wireless Internet to the poorest customers who can't afford the expensive all-inclusive plans.
In June, T-Mobile started allowing unlimited streaming of music from programs like Pandora and Spotify. The music data won't count against a user's data plan.
AT&T created a program that allows mobile apps to partially pay for data used while using their apps. For instance, if a user is reading a lot of news articles from an app that participates in the program, the data used in that app won't count against the user.
Sprint is calling their social media-only plan Virgin Mobile Custom. They say the plan was aimed at giving customers more choices.
"This is really just part of a broader effort toward customization," said Dow Draper, president of prepaid at Sprint. Instead of buying a bucket of data, customers can now pay less for just the app they use the most, he said.
Customers can only choose between the four most popular apps, for now. More could be added in the future.
Sprint isn't getting any payments from any of the social media apps, but they didn't rule that out in the future. They chose those four apps because they are the most popular among mobile users.
The plan is only available from Wal-Mart. The base plan only offers 20 text messages and 20 minutes of talk time. If a subscriber chooses, they can add more talk time and text messages, but the plan would increase in price.
Each subscriber pays $6.98 for the base plan per month, they can add unlimited use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest for another $5, or all four for $15.
Parents can also restrict certain apps by children on the phones.
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