Do you remember anything when you heard about the Free Basic Program? Facebook’s program aimed at giving people access to the Internet for the first time, and for free. Now a similar plan has been introduced by Facebook in the form of an app Facebook Discover which will allow ‘free’ visits to any website.
The app is being tested by Facebook in the Latin American country of Peru, one of 55 countries where the Free Basic program is working.
Facebook is testing a new product called ‘Discover’ to improve on its existing Free Basics program.
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Facebook has partnered with local telecom companies for this purpose and browsing on any mobile website will be free for a certain period of time so that more people can access the internet.
These telecom companies will provide a certain amount of internet data per day to the users using the Discover app through which they will be able to browse any website. This free data will not include traffic support for video, audio, and other high data consumption.
Discover’s product manager Yun Zhiwei said the app would help people connect to the Internet even when their data balance is exhausted.
He said that many users around the world are still without access to the Internet or will soon be away from the Internet because their data balance is depleted, the app is designed to fill this gap.
Earlier, Facebook’s use of certain websites in the Free Basic program was completely free, but it was sharply criticized by privacy advocates and banned in India in 2016.
Now Facebook is introducing the program in a new way and treating every website equally, and the company says that Discover’s browsing data will not be used for targeted advertising or other purposes۔
The user will not even need a Facebook account to use it, and after Peru, it will be introduced in Thailand, the Philippines, and Iraq in the next few weeks. It is likely to be introduced soon in Pakistan, where the Free Basic program still exists in some form.