The goal of Internet.org – the initiative launched in August 2013 by Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung — is to connect the 4.4 billion people who currently lack access to the Internet, but a mission on such a large scale is not without barriers, and a study released Wednesday by McKinsey & Co., “Offline and Falling Behind: Barriers to Internet Adoption” (embedded below), examines those barriers.
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg visited India in July, and now it’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s turn, as The Times of India reported that Zuckerberg will speak at the Internet.org summit in New Delhi Oct. 9 and 10.
Facebook Connectivity Lab engineering director Yael Maguire spoke about the social network’s plans to use drones to help connect developing regions to the Internet in a conversation with Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore at the 2014 Social Good Summit in New York Monday.
Andrew Bocking, who led the BlackBerry Messenger effort for BlackBerry before leaving that company in February, joined Facebook as product manager for its recently announced Internet.org application, Re/code reported.
Most companies respond to criticism in the press with statements by executives or spokespeople, but Facebook answered a column in The New York Times by Evgeny Morozov panning its Internet.org initiative to connect the rest of the world to the Internet with comments by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Stanford University School of Medicine Prof. Michele Barry and United Nations Under-Secretary General and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Zambia may seem like an odd choice for the site of an application’s launch, but it makes perfect sense when the developer of that app has a mission statement of connecting the rest of the world. Internet.org – the global partnership formed last August by Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung to “connect the next 5 billion people” — announced the launch of its app, starting with Airtel subscribers in Zambia.
Faster, leaner, smaller — no, it’s not an advertisement for a gym, but rather, a description of the changes Facebook has made to its flagship Android application with an eye toward making it more accessible worldwide, including in areas that are still reliant on older networks and devices.
As soon as the ink dried on Facebook’s acquisition of messaging application WhatsApp, industry leaders questioned whether the social network overpaid with its $19 billion buy. So why did Facebook do it? WhatsApp Co-Founder Brian Acton discussed how the company can help Facebook in the future at an event in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday night, hosted by Stanford University-spawned startup incubator StartX.
Facebook’s latest acquisition is aimed at furthering the global-connectivity goal of its Internet.org initiative, as Finland-based Pryte – which is focused on allowing mobile users in less-developed parts of the world to use applications — announced that its team would be joining the social network.