A second African country now has easy access to Facebook.
The social network has debuted an app that hands Tigo subscribers in Tanzania access to Facebook and free basic mobile data services such as health, employment and local information services.
Although the app, which is part of Facebook’s Internet.org project, is available only to Tigo subscribers in the African country thus far, the social network plans to make it available to other mobile phone users in that country as well as roll it out to other parts of the world.
Tanzania is the second country to be given access to the app. The social network debuted the app in Zambia in July for Airtel subscribers.
“Today we are expanding our program with Tigo in Tanzania beyond just free Facebook to include access to a suite of basic services in health, education, communication, finance, jobs and local information,” said Internet.org product manager Andrew Bocking. “By providing more people with affordable access to technology and tools we can accelerate the process of connecting everyone.”
Through the Internet.org app, Tigo customers in Tanzania will have basic access to AccuWeather; BabyCenter and MAMA; BBC News and BBC Swahili; BrighterMonday; The Citizen; Facebook; Facts for Life (a UNICEF Product); Girl Effect; Messenger; Mwananchi; Mwanaspoti; OLX; Shule Direct; SuperSport; Tanzania Today and Wikipedia.
“Through our partnership with Facebook we aim to increase digital inclusion by encouraging even more Tanzanians to go online,” Tigo head of data and devices David Zacharia said.
Tigo customers in Tanzania can access the Internet.org app through the Google Play Store, by visiting www.internet.org on a mobile browser, via the Tigo portal or through a bookmark on Opera Mini. The service works on Smartphones and feature phones.
Internet.org is a global initiative headed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to make Internet access available to five billion new households by 2023.
The founding members of internet.org — which was started last fall — are Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung.
Organization members have been tasked with crafting projects, sharing information and persuading governments, mobile operators, NGOs and academics to get on board.