Facebook has just announced that it is partnering with mobile carriers around the world to bring free or discounted data access to Facebook messaging.

According to the social networking giant, messaging is a hugely popular activity on Facebook. And its initiative to bring messaging access to its partner carriers’ subscribers for free or for less is likely to make it more so.

Essentially, Facebook is set to provide free or discounted data access through Facebook Messenger for iOS, Facebook Messenger for Android, and Facebook for Every Phone. The last-mentioned app, which is now optimized for chat, is Facebook’s official app that works on over 2,500 different Java-enabled phones.

The promotion will be available “in the coming months” from more than 18 mobile carriers in 14 countries including:

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.

As noted by The Verge, Facebook is yet to announce similar plans, if any, for U.S. carriers.

Facebook Messenger for iOS, which is optimized for iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later, is available in the App Store for free. Last month, the app gained support for free voice calling in the U.S. as well as Canada, which was also added to the main Facebook iOS app just a few days ago.