Last week Facebook rolled out a new free service app in Zambia, Internet.org.
According to a blog post on the Facebook website Guy Rosen, Product Management Director says that even though 85 percent of the world’s population has access to the Internet only about 30 percent can actually use that access.
“Affordability and awareness are significant barriers to internet adoption for many and today we are introducing the Internet.org app to make the internet accessible to more people by providing a set of free basic services,” Rosen writes. “By providing free basic services via the app, we hope to bring more people online and help them discover valuable services they might not have otherwise.”
The app will allow users to access a number of free services such as weather, Google search, jobs, Wikipedia and of course Facebook.
According to Rosen, “With this app, people can browse a set of useful health, employment and local information services without data charges. By providing free basic services via the app, we hope to bring more people online and help them discover valuable services they might not have otherwise.”
The app is currently only available to Airtel customers in Zambia but according to the blog post “we’ll continue to improve the experience and roll it out to other parts of the world.”
Airtel customers in Zambia can access these services in the Internet.org Android app, at www.internet.org, or within the Facebook for Android app.
In this age of cyber hackers, patent lawsuits, government spying and ISP shenanigans it’s nice to see that some companies are actually making an effort to improve people’s lives and make the world a better place. And even if giving people in Zambia free access to Facebook probably won’t end world hunger, it couldn’t hurt.