Case Study Hero: Facebook Free Basics

Facebook Free Basics

Providing culturally relevant online parenting advice in low-technology settings

  • Created digital content for parents with low literacy levels and limited access to technology
  • Managed content translation, localisation and expert review in 40 countries and 27 languages
  • Produced the first crisis-response advice on Zika virus for Facebook’s Free Basics platform


Adapting life-saving information about pregnancy and child health for hard-to-reach audiences.

Facebook Free Basics offers access to simple mobile websites without any data charges. And it operates in countries where data charges are a barrier to receiving essential online information.

Seeing the opportunity to support women in communities with limited access to healthcare, our client BabyCenter agreed to launch a series of websites on the Free Basics platform.

Thrive was challenged to create and build these websites.


We adapted evidence-based and expert-reviewed health content for 40 countries in 27 languages. Here’s how we did it:

  • We started with the content strategy, identifying the core information women need to have a healthy pregnancy and baby – a total of 120 topics.
  • Site content was designed to be flexible to allow for a fast response in a crisis, for example during the 2016 Zika virus outbreak.
  • Our team of writers created easy-to-read content for low-literacy audiences.
  • We recruited regional maternal health experts to review and localise the content.
  • We managed the translation of the content into 27 languages.
  • Our production team worked with Facebook’s partner, the Praekelt Foundation, to build individual websites for each country.


Thrive’s content was meaningful, engaging and culturally sensitive, and it was also highly relevant because it was tailored to users wherever they live.

By the end of 2018, Facebook Free Basics had over 100 million users, significantly extending our client BabyCenter’s ability to reach and support new audiences.

And because of our fast turnaround on Zika content, our client became the first of Facebook’s partners to deliver advice about preventing the virus. We supplied vital answers to millions of women concerned about the risk to their unborn babies.

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