With New Organization, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Wants Everyone on the Planet to Be Online
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If you don't have access to the internet then you're probably not reading this article. And you're most likely not spending hours surfing Facebook, either. That's a problem Mark Zuckerberg wants to solve.
The billionaire tech entrepreneur and Facebook founder has formed a partnership called internet.org. The goal, it says, is to make internet access available to basically everyone. It's kind of like Google's plan to provide internet access to far reaches of the planet via a network of floating balloons, but also probably very different.
"Today, only 2.7 billion people -- just over one-third of the world's population -- have access to the internet," Facebook said in the announcement. "Internet adoption is growing by less than 9 percent each year, which is slow considering how early we are in its development."
Along with Facebook, founding internet.org member companies include Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung and others. The idea is to develop joint projects, share knowledge and mobilize industry and governments to bring the world online, the announcement says. That means helping to make internet access more affordable, to reduce the amount of data needed to run apps online and to create new business models for providing internet on grander scale.
Facebook's user growth is expected to grow substantially in emerging markets, according to a report from New York City-based digital marketing research firm eMarketer. This year, Facebook's user base is expected to jump 34.4 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, 29.5 percent in Latin America, 31.8 percent in the Middle East and Africa and 29.3 percent in central and eastern Europe. Growth in North America is slowing, meanwhile, and is only expected to increase by 3.6 percent.
This isn't the first partnership Zuckerberg has struck up with goals that go beyond the walls of Facebook. In April, Zuckerberg co-started FWD.us, a political advocacy group that aims to foster technology innovation and entrepreneurialism.