Facebook ramps up free internet platform

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Macro image of running Facebook app on an iPad

To commemorate the first anniversary of Internet.org, Facebook has intensified its efforts to promote the application by allowing any telecommunication firms to join. However, participating companies must pledge to offer free basic web services.

“Over the past 12 months we’ve worked closely with more than a dozen mobile operators across 17 countries to give people access to relevant basic internet services without data charges, and today Internet.org is available to more than a billion people,” the social media giant said in a blog post.

Following its global debut in Zambia one year ago, Facebook has made it easier for operators to tap into the platform in new countries via a partner portal that offers a guide and technical tools.

The website also makes it convenient for developers to create software and services that can work with the platform.

“Our goal is to work with as many mobile operators and developers as possible to extend the benefits of connectivity to diverse, local communities around the world,” wrote Facebook.

It also claimed that Internet.org is beneficial to telcos because its free basic internet services attract new subscribers 50 per cent faster than when free services are not offered. In addition, more than half of the people who have made their first steps online through the portal ended up paying for data during the first 30 days.

Facebook added that these statistics prove that the platform not only promotes internet usage, but also boosts the revenue of mobile network operators.

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