New York: Facebook has launched a free app that provides limited internet access to people in the African nation Zambia who have mobile phones without data plans.
Airtel customers can download the app called Internet.org for access to 13 outlets, including Facebook and Wikipedia, SF Gate reported.
The Internet.org coalition includes a number of technology firms including Samsung and Nokia.
According to the social networking site, by increasing internet usage, it will improve access to health care and boost the economy in developing nations.
“Growing the internet is going to pay off for a lot of different companies and a lot of different people. We really think it is going to be beneficial for everyone,” Guy Rosen, a product management director for Internet.org, was quoted as saying.
In Zambia, few can afford an internet connection. But with this new app, they can find out about the weather, women’s rights and job openings for several months before they will eventually need to decide whether they want to buy a data plan.
Anyone who signs up for Facebook in Zambia through the free app will count towards the company’s more than 1.3 billion monthly active users worldwide, the report added.