Updated: Opera Mini Users No Longer Blocked From Full Version of Facebook

Facebook Mobile

Update: It looks like this issue has been fixed. Users of Opera Mini and other mobile browsers can now visit the full version of Facebook.  That's not to say that every feature of  Facebook's deskop site will work perfectly in every mobile browser, but at least mobile users will be able to try.  The direct url to the full site is www.facebook.com/?m2w or you  can start with facebook.com, which will redirect you to the mobile version.  Scroll to the bottom of the mobile page and click the Touch Site link to open the iPhone/Android version of Facebook.  Then scroll to the bottom of the Touch site, click the Full Site link.

I got a complaint from a reader that they are no longer able to use the full (desktop) version of Facebook in Opera Mini. I'm not a Facebook power user by any means and I'm generally OK with using Facebook's mobile site (top image)  at m.facebook.com in Opera Mini and the Facebook "Touch" site (2nd image) at touch.facebook.com with the Android browser.

But there are Facebook features that are missing from the mobile versions including chat,  friend's photos, friend's events, friend's links and direct access to your Pages.  Games and Apps are also only on the desktop site but most of them use Flash and don't work in mobile browsers anyway.

When I've needed to use any of the features of the Full site,  I've used the "Full Site" link at the bottom of the touch site ( www.facebook.com/home.php?m2w ) to go there.

Facebook Touch

About  two weeks ago something broke at Facebook and  www.facebook.com/home.php?m2w now takes Opera Mini users to the mobile site. The same thing happens if I try to go to the full site with the default WebKit based browser on a Nokia N95-3.  The Full Site link does still work with the Android browser.

I believe in optimizing the user experience for mobile , but I also believe that as much as technically possible the mobile versions of sites should include all the features of their full size counterparts.  No matter how good your mobile site is, it's still a good idea to give users a choice as to whether they want to use the full or mobile version regardless of what browser they are using.  I believe that Facebook wants to offer that choice and once they become aware of the problem they will eventually fix it.

To bring the issue to Facebook's attention and to light a fire under their product managers, I urge  Facebook users to complain about the broken full site access  by submitting a  "suggestion" on Facebook's Help page at facebook.com/help/ (unfortunately, the suggestion form only seems to work if you are using a desktop browser).  To submit a suggestion,  click  the "mobile" topic on the help page and then click "Have a suggestion? Tell us about it."  I recommend you explain how the issue effects you in your own words  but if you're in a hurry just paste in the following:

"Until recently it was possible to to access the full version of Facebook using Opera Mini and other mobile browsers by visiting http://www.facebook.com/home.php?m2w

But that URL now loads the mobile version which is missing features I need.  I prefer the full version.  Please restore access to it from mobile browsers, including Opea Mini"

Another place users can complain is on the "Using Facebook Mobile" Group's Wall at facebook.com/UsingFacebookMobile which, unlike the suggestion form, does work in Opera Mini.

In the meantime you can use Facebook Lite at lite.facebook.com in Opera Mini. It includes some of the features missing in the mobile versions including Chat.


How to View the Full Version of Sites in Opera Mini

8 thoughts on “Updated: Opera Mini Users No Longer Blocked From Full Version of Facebook

  1. This is not the first time facebook has 'broken' the ability of opera mini users to access the desktop site. :o(

    I tryed the facebook lite link which seems to be a glorified version of the touch site with the addition of the chat function. I was unable to use the chat system through the lite site and wondered if anyone else had managed to use it ?
  2. From facebook lite, click the settings icon in the top nav bar, then choose regular facebook under default site, this probably won't work for everyone considering facebook is a really complex site with 4 different versions.
  3. I just did what you have recommended on Facebook suggestions. Still, I think that all these problems could be avoided if Opera Mini only gave the users a way to switch user agent like in the Opera desktop browser. But for reasons best known to themselves, Opera Mini people have consistently been refusing to integrate this feature in Opera Mini.
    • Opera Mini already have a unique user agent string that is different from what all native mobile devices have, so the site have already made an active choice what content to give to the end user. To give the end user the choice to select a different user agent string would only lead to the web sites using other means of identifying that the request is coming from Opera Mini, such as IP number.

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