Facebook has announced that the availability of its internet.org app will be here soon for billions of people around the globe. Its services has been rolled out in six countries including Colombia, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, India, and Zambia since last year 2014. And now it will be available soon for millions of people in the Philippines.
The app allows mobile phone users free access to basic internet services which are related to education, health, employment, communication, and information and news.
With this, Filipinos will now be able to browse Wikipedia for information, read the Inquirer for news updates, check the weather using Accuweather, look for jobs on Jobstreet, chat with friends on Facebook and more – without data charges. However, it’s limited to a bunch of sites that Facebook has chosen.
The seventh country to get the service, Philippines; the first in Southeast Asia – Facebook signed a deal with Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company’s mobile arm Smart Communications, which has 69 million subscribers.
Director of global operator partnerships at Facebook, Markku Makelainen said, “We are working with operators, content partners, and governments from all over the world to address the barriers that prevent people from connecting and joining the knowledge economy. We are excited to bring the Internet.org app to the Philippines and give people access to internet services and tools that can help create new ideas and opportunities.”
For its initial phase, the Internet.org app allows to get free access to a buffet of 24 websites.
The Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines estimates that only 38 percent of the Philippine population had internet access as of mid-2014.