• Facebook aims to get more people online
    By BARBARA ORTUTAY
    The Associated Press | August 22,2013
    • Email Article
    •  
    •  Print Article
     
    AP Photo

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to get more of the world’s more than 7 billion people online through a partnership with some of the world’s largest mobile technology companies.
    NEW YORK — Facebook wants to get more of the world’s more than 7 billion people — all of them, actually — online through a partnership with some of the world’s largest mobile technology companies.

    Facebook Inc. announced a partnership called Internet.org on Wednesday. In addition to the world’s biggest online social network, the group also includes Korean electronics giant Samsung, Finnish handset maker Nokia and wireless chip maker Qualcomm Inc.

    Facebook said the group’s goal is to “make Internet access available to the two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected” — about 5 billion people.

    The group’s plans include developing cheaper smartphones and tools that would reduce the amount of data required to run apps. For Facebook, the move would certainly add more users to its current 1.15 billion, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg paints it as something bigger.

    “For nine years, we’ve been on a mission to connect the world. We now connect more than 1 billion people, but to connect the next 5 billion we must solve a much bigger problem: the vast majority of people don’t have access to the Internet,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page along with a paper titled “Is Connectivity A Human Right?”

    He points out that the people who already use Facebook “have way more money than the rest of the world combined.” That means it may “not actually be pro?table for us to serve the next few billion people for a very long time, if ever. But we believe everyone deserves to be connected.”

    Javier Olivan, vice president of growth and analytics at Facebook, said the move continues what the company has already been doing to get more people online. This includes “Facebook For Every Phone,” an app that launched in 2011 to let people with simple, nonsmartphones use Facebook.

    Wireless equipment company Ericsson, Web browser developer Opera Software and MediaTek, another wireless semiconductor company, are also founding members of Internet.org.

    Google Inc., which is not a part of the Internet.org effort, launched a similar undertaking earlier this year with the goal of getting everyone on Earth online. Called Project Loon, the project launched Internet-beaming antennas abroad giant helium balloons into the stratosphere.
    • Email Article
    •  
    •  Print Article
    2 Comments
    MORE IN National / World Business
    NEW YORK — Best Buy’s profit jumped 21 percent as the nation’s largest consumer electronics... Full Story
    Best Buy posts higher profit, better online and store sales
    NEW YORK — It’s getting rarer for phone launches to generate excitement these days — especially... Full Story
    Android makers really want to make their phones eye-catching
    NEW YORK — Wal-Mart’s vast fleet of stores and its online business are starting to click together. Full Story
    Wal-Mart increases its earnings outlook
    More Articles