The internet.org app which allows free basic access to some websites has been launched in the 13th country, Senegal. The other countries are Zambia (where it launched first), Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Colombia, Guatemala, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Malawi and Pakistan.
In a media release Facebook stated “In our first decade we’ve been able to connect mobile than a billion people to Facebook. Internet.org’s mission is to make affordable internet access available to everyone in the world and to make the opportunities of the internet available to everyone. Free basic services are our solution to increase accessibility of the internet and create awareness around the value it may bring.”
According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), only about 20% of the Senegalese population has access to the internet. The remaining 80% may find it either too expensive or just don’t know how to use and access it.
The announcement was made last week on Internet.org’s Facebook page and was launched with mobile operator Tigo, giving free basic access to the following sites: AccuWeather, BabyCenter & MAMA, BBC News, BING, UNICEF, Ebola Info, Facebook, UNICED Facts for Life, Girl Effect by Nike Foundation, Malaria No More, Messenger, Wattpad, Wikipedia, Wiwisport, Dakaractu.com, Senjob. All services will be available in French.
However, as recently as last night, some users took to Facebook to let them know the service isn’t working:
We hope they fix that issue soon. How about we roll products that absolutely work next time, Facebook?