Facebook aims to get more people onlineBy BARBARA ORTUTAY
The Associated Press | August 22,2013AP 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.MORE IN National / World BusinessWASHINGTON — The U.S. economy powered its way to a respectable growth rate of 3. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1618, English author, poet, soldier, adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh is beheaded for conspiring to overthrow King James I, but more likely to mollify offenses to Spain. His executioner has to implore him for silence.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1492, Italian explorer, admiral of the ocean sea, Christopher Columbus, sailing for the Spanish crown, 'discovers' Cuba; on this day in 1964, U.S. officials deny American involvement in bombing North Vietnam.
- Video: Fire engulfs house on Pine Street
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1936, Mrs. Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson, mistress of King Edward VIII, is granted her second divorce, enabling her to marry the king. The government, the Church of England and the London Times have another idea.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: V-2 No. 13, launched this day in 1946 from White Sands, New Mexico, takes first photographs of Earth from the edge of the planet's outer atmosphere; 1947: Walt Disney testifies before HUAC, names employees he says are communists.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Vermont's brand discussed at Killington, state's attorney candidates Marc Brierre and Rose Kennedy profiled, Curtis reports about Rutland police chief's new job, and four arrested, charged for heroin, crack sales.