Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed several developments from the Internet.org global connectivity initiative at the 2014 GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, including the formation of SocialEDU, a program aimed at bringing “a collaborative online education experience” to students in Rwanda.
Nokia introduced the first model of its new family of Asha smartphones, the Nokia Asha 501, and the handset maker teamed up with Facebook and mobile carrier Airtel to announced that the latter’s customers in Africa and India would receive data-free access to the Facebook application and m.facebook.com for a limited time.
No, I didn’t receive an email from Princess Zuckerberg asking me to save her family fortune from the hands of the rebel forces. This is not the typical Nigerian 419 scam. In this version, Facebook is unknowingly misleading its advertisers about its vaunted targeting abilities. If you buy ads targeting the U.S., it is now very likely that you are getting traffic from Nigeria and other parts of Africa, as well.
Facebook announced partnerships with 18 mobile operators in 14 countries aimed at providing users with free or discounted data access for its Messenger for Android, Messenger for iOS, and Facebook for Every Phone mobile applications.
Yesterday Airtel, an Indian mobile provider, announced that the company was launching a campaign to enable Facebook for free on their more than 130 million customers’ phones. Whether or not this is an attempt by the company to drive data usage within their network is unknown, however after the two months ends, the service will no longer be free to access.