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Optus Ditching Free Social Networking Access For Its Contract Phone Plans

Optus is ditching one of the main selling points for its postpaid mobile plans: new customers will no longer receive unlimited access to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites.

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The offer has been removed from Optus’ site for its postpaid plans, including its 4G options. Oddly, the unlimited option (which also covers Foursquare, eBay and MySpace) remains available for prepaid customers.

There were always restrictions that applied to the “unlimited” deal: it only covered browsing to the official sites, not the use of third-party apps or when phone owners clicked on links to external content within their feeds. However, for customers whose main on-phone activity was using social networking, the arrangement meant that a much lower data total was feasible.

Existing contract customers will continue to have the unlimited access option, but that won’t continue after their 24-month contract expires, an Optus spokesperson confirmed to Lifehacker.

It’s not yet clear if this will impact Optus resellers such as Amaysim, iiNet and Live Connected, all of whom also offer the unlimited access feature. Some have done so with a twist: Internode offers 150GB of social media data rather than an “unlimited” quantity. Given that Optus is continuing the deal on its own prepaid plans, I wouldn’t anticipate those disappearing in the short term.