India Gets Free Internet with Internet.org App of Facebook
Back in August 2014, Facebook launched their internet.org app that brings forward a broad vision of making internet accessible to those who are not able to reach it. It offers free mobile data plans for a select number of services that has the potential of bringing billions of new users on board.
The latest, and probably the biggest step in this regard was taken today with the launch of the free internet services to India. Surely, for a country that has 60.6 percent of its population living below the $2 per day poverty line, something like this makes sense.
According to the latest updates from the officials, six sates of India are going to get the services namely Tamil Nadu, Mahararashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, and Telangana in six different languages which are Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati and Marathi.
In order to offer the services, Zuckerberg has partnered with Reliance and as a result any one who has access to the dedicated Android app, Opera’s Mini browser or the UC Browser will be able to access 38 different websites.
Most of the websites included in the internet.org website for India are related to news, though there is an assortment of different other websites that offers things like health services, music, social networking and more.
Here’s a rundown on all websites that are now going to be free in numerous regions of India:
- Aaj Tak: Read news in Hindi
- AccuWeather: Get updated weather information
- amarujala.com: Read news in Hindi
- AP Speaks: Engage with local government
- Babajob: Search for jobs
- BabyCenter MAMA: Learn about pregnancy and childcare
- BBC News: Read news from around the world
- Bing Search: Find information
- Cleartrip: Check train and flight schedules buy tickets
- Daily Bhaskar: Read local news
- Dictionary.com: Search for meanings of words
- ESPN Cricinfo: Get cricket updates
- Facebook: Communicate with friends and family
- Facts for Life: Find health and hygiene information
- Girl Effect: Read articles and tips for girls
- HungamaPlay: Listen to music
- IBNLive: Read news
- iLearn: Learn from Women Entrepreneurs
- India Today: Read local news
- Internet Basics: Learn about the basics of the Internet
- Jagran: Read local news
- Jagran Josh: Get education and career information
- Maalai Malar: Read news in Tamil
- Maharashtra Times: Read news in Marathi
- Malaria No More: Learn about malaria
- manoramanews.com: Read local news
- Messenger: Send messages to friends and family
- NDTV: Read news
- Newshunt: Read news in English
- OLX: Buy and sell products and services
- Reliance Astrology: Read your horoscope
- Reuters Market Lite: Get farming and crop information
- Socialblood: Register to donate blood
- Times of India: Read news
- TimesJobs: Search for jobs
- Translator: Translate words and phrases
- Wikipedia: Find information
- wikiHow: Find information
This did not come as a surprise because previously internet.org has been launched in Columbia, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana. Seeing the trend and the potential number of users that could benefit from the free internet services, India was probably the most suitable next country.
Not just that, Facebook has also been investing in app development for the services that are to be launched in India with internet.org.
In the recent years, Zuckerberg has been expanding the wings of its companies in a very diverse fashion. They have recently launched Facebook Lite to complement bad internet connections, they partnered with Electoral Commission for vote registrations in UK and launched Facebook at Work for organizational communications.
With the hundreds of millions of Indian nationals jumping the internet bandwagon, an increase in their user base will be but one of the many advantages of the internet.org app’s launch in India.
Being the Managing Editor of TechFrag, Sarmad splits his time between keeping up with latest news, technology, gaming and other awesome things like unearthing the merits of staying up at night and Californication!