"India is a country with tremendous potential in terms of new users."
Social media enterprise Facebook has now launched a new low-cost internet service in India.
Express WiFi enables users to purchase mobile data from local Internet Service Providers (ISPs), in order to surf the web.
A pilot version of the program, in partnership with a state-owned telecoms provider, currently operates at 125 rural WiFi hotspots in India.
In an official statement, Facebook mentions that tests are conducted with ‘multiple local ISP partners’.
This is a clever marketing strategy by the US company to increase the usage of the Internet via the popular social networking site.
Talking to the BBC, Ian Foggs, an analyst at IHS Technology, mentions:
“In emerging economies, Facebook is pursuing an intervention strategy to increase the pace of internet and online usage because this will also raise the addressable market for Facebook.”
The tech giant adds: “Working with local internet service providers or mobile operators, they’re able to use software provided by Facebook to connect their communities.”
While the Express WiFi is a great program, the company suffered a hindrance in January 2016.
India’s telecoms regulator had blocked their Free Basics internet service app.
During this rough period, CEO Mark Zuckerburg said:
“While we’re disappointed with [the] decision, I want to personally communicate that we are committed to keep working to break down barriers to connectivity in India.”
There are over 142 million Facebook users in India, which makes it the networking site’s second largest market.
Social media analyst Erna Alfred Liousas tells Quartz: “India is a country with tremendous potential in terms of new users.
“Since Express Wi-Fi isn’t stipulating which sites users can access, and isn’t free, hopefully they’ll receive a more favourable reception.”
One hopes that this new service would double the users of the social network and the world wide web!
Facebook is yet to confirm a commercial rollout date for Express WiFi.