Facebook expands free basic services on Internet.org platform

Under Internet.org, over 60 new services are now available across 19 countries

Moulishree Srivastava
Updated25 Sep 2015
Internet.org aims to provide Internet connectivity to more than 4 billion people globally who are not yet online. Facebook has partnered with mobile operators across 17 countries, including India, to provide users access to basic Internet services. Photo: Reuters<br />
Internet.org aims to provide Internet connectivity to more than 4 billion people globally who are not yet online. Facebook has partnered with mobile operators across 17 countries, including India, to provide users access to basic Internet services. Photo: Reuters

New Delhi: Facebook Inc. has expanded its free basic Internet services under the Internet.org initiative in 19 countries, the company said in a blog post.

“Starting today, more than one billion people who have access to Internet.org’s free basic services across Asia, Africa and Latin America will now be able to access more free services through the Internet.org platform,” said a blog dated 24 September.

Internet.org is a partnership between the social networking company and telecommunication companies where it provides free services such as applications for learning English and providing information to farmers in developing countries.

Under Internet.org, over 60 new services are available across the 19 countries, the company said.

To develop these services, the social networking firm threw open the platform in May to developers. For instance, Facebook has partnered with 30 Indian developers for ‘free basic services’.

“Not only does this expand the range of resources available to people, it gives them more choice and control over the services they can use in the app and website,” the blog said.

Internet.org aims to provide Internet connectivity to more than 4 billion people globally who are not yet online. Facebook has partnered with mobile operators across 17 countries, including India, to provide users access to basic Internet services.

Facebook came up with the Internet.org app last year with the aim of providing free basic services in markets where Internet access is less affordable. The app, which has seen more than one million downloads, allows people to browse “selected health, employment and local information websites” without data charges on “a SIM card from a qualifying carrier”.

The initiative came under severe criticism for going against the ‘free spirit’ of the Internet. In India, the company faced heat over the issue of net neutrality, which basically says no online service should be given preference over others.

Facebook also announced that the Internet.org app would be called Free Basics by Facebook in Google Play and the website would be FreeBasic.com.

“We’re making this change to better distinguish the Internet.org initiative from the programmes and services we’re providing,” the company said.

The company also said it will be encrypting information “wherever possible” to make it “safer for people to connect to the websites and services they care about”.

India is the second largest market for Facebook, with about 132 million users.

Catch all the Industry News, Banking News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.MoreLess
HomeindustryFacebook expands free basic services on Internet.org platform

Most Active Stocks

Bharat Electronics

282.80
09:32 AM | 22 MAY 2024
8.7 (3.17%)

Coal India

501.50
09:32 AM | 22 MAY 2024
10.75 (2.19%)

GAIL India

200.30
09:32 AM | 22 MAY 2024
-3.9 (-1.91%)

Zee Entertainment Enterprises

151.00
09:32 AM | 22 MAY 2024
3.35 (2.27%)
More Active Stocks

Market Snapshot

  • Top Gainers
  • Top Losers
  • 52 Week High

Finolex Cables

1,162.00
09:21 AM | 22 MAY 2024
103.55 (9.78%)

General Insurance Corporation Of India

379.60
09:21 AM | 22 MAY 2024
33.75 (9.76%)

B E M L

4,551.45
09:21 AM | 22 MAY 2024
371.05 (8.88%)

The New India Assurance Company

246.75
09:20 AM | 22 MAY 2024
16.85 (7.33%)
More from Top Gainers

Recommended For You

    More Recommendations

    Gold Prices

    • 24K
    • 22K
    Bangalore
    75,995.001,438.00
    Chennai
    75,995.00998.00
    Delhi
    76,589.001,518.00
    Kolkata
    76,515.001,004.00

    Fuel Price

    • Petrol
    • Diesel
    Bangalore
    99.84/L0.00
    Chennai
    100.75/L-0.13
    Kolkata
    103.94/L0.00
    New Delhi
    94.72/L0.00
    HomeMarketsPremiumFor youGet App