Vodafone UK has launched a new sub-brand featuring zero-rated messaging as it looks to get down with the under-25s.

VOXI offers contract-free 30-day plans with unlimited use of certain social media apps.

Customers can choose three from Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and Viber.

Video and music apps will follow in the near future, the operator said.

The 2GB, 5GB and 15GB plans all include unlimited calls and texts and are priced at £10, £15 and £20 respectively.

VOXI will be available from 8 September, launching with a marketing campaign based on live events and social media posts that will be created in partnership with “young people”.

Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK, said: “Vodafone has been working hard to understand the specific needs of our customers.

“We know today’s young generation use their phones in a completely different way, with social media at the very centre of their lives.

“They want services that put their needs first. VOXI gives young people just that: access to the content and channels they love, simple and cost-effective price plans, and a mobile network they can count on.”

Vodafone is the third largest mobile operator in the UK behind EE and O2 but has been shedding customers of late.

It had 17.7 million customers as of the end of June, down 1.5 percent year-on-year, as competition hots up.

Sky launched its mobile offering at the start of the year while Three unveiled a SIM-only product called Smarty earlier this month.

Three and Virgin have both introduced zero-rating in the UK over the past 12 months.

Dan Lambrou, Head of VOXI, said: “We’ve worked with hundreds of people aged 25 and under, and have really listened to them.

“They are a generation that’s tired of being stereotyped and talked at.

“We created VOXI, a transparent new mobile service that gives our audience a platform to connect to the things that matter to them, whatever they’re into.”

Kester Mann, Principal Analyst at CCS Insight, said the new launch would boost its lagging brand.

He told European Communications that VOXI seemed to be “a tacit admission from Vodafone that its brand has not resonated well enough among a younger demographic”, in contrast to rivals.

Mann added that VOXI appeared to offer “little that is genuinely new” to the market but that it would add competition to the entry-level segment.

Read more: Q&A with CEO of Wingo, Swisscom’s youth brand

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