Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Unveils Free Mobile Data Services in India

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has taken the first steps in expanding its presence in India’s a billion plus population by providing free mobile internet services through a non-profit organization Internet.Org. Launching in India comes on the heels of the company offering similar services in Africa as well as Colombia.

The service is however not available to the entire Indian population as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has partnered operator Reliance for the program in six initial states. Nationwide accessibility should be made possible in the coming months as the company seeks to connect millions of people who aren’t yet connected. The services are available in English language as well as a number of local languages such as Hindi Tamil Telugu Malayalam Gujarati and Marathi.

Facebook affirms the availability of 38 websites and services on the free service ranging from Facebook BBC, Reuters, ESPN as well as India Today. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been eyeing growth opportunities in India as future growth synergies are expected to come from emerging markets. Last year the giant social network unveiled a $1 million fund dedicated to making apps for India available for its Internet.Org Summit.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is trying to expand its mainstream presence in emerging markets of Asia and Africa having reached saturation levels in some of the key western markets. CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has already reiterated that internet services should be approached as basic services and made available to everyone on the planet without any charge, similar to the way people call cops for free.

More people online is good for Facebook especially on its advertisement business that is depended on active monthly users. The move is also expected to benefit the online/telecom industries as more people rush to buy smartphones thus explaining the involvement of companies like Samsung Erickson and Nokia.

Internet.Org is not the only program that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is spearheading in emerging markets. it is piloting a ‘Lite’ version service that works with low-end phones and flakey data connections bringing more people online especially in emerging markets.