Web Newcomers in Developing Countries get First Taste of Internet Through Facebook and Google

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Facebook and Google are determined to give Internet newcomers the first tastes of the Web. In a bid to bring cost-effective internet access to developed countries, they are offering stripped down versions of their products to their internet users. The two companies have struck deals with wireless carriers to offer cheap online access to their customers.

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Facebook Zero was launched in 2010 allowing users to access the social network from their feature phones at a low cost and without long-term contract. The service has gained revenue for wireless carriers in 45 countries whenever users access photos and links posted on the social network.

Google’s Free Zone allows users to check Google+ and use Gmail on feature phones. Users from Phillipines and South Africa have already begun to experience the service. Carriers only charge customers when they click on links or when they open attachments. In February, Facebook announced its partnership with 18 carriers in 14 countries to deliver discounted Facebook messaging services to most mobile phone users.

From Technology Review


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