Facebook's Internet.org app has launched in India, offering free access to a set of websites for users in six states.
According to the Internet.org - an initiative led by Facebook whose other members include Ericsson, Samsung, Opera, and Nokia - while over 85 percent of the world's population lives in areas with a mobile phone signal, only 30 percent have access to the internet.
The idea behind the Internet.org project's app is to make the internet accessible to more people by providing a set of free basic services.
The app first launched in Zambia in June last year and since then has been launched in Ghana, Kenya, Colombia, and Tanzania. The particular mix of services offered by Internet.org depends on the location: for example, last month the app launched in Colombia with 16 services compared to the Indian version's 38.
Customers of Reliance Communications in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Mahararashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, and Telangana will have access to services ranging from news, maternal health, travel, local jobs, sports, communication, and local government information - and of course Facebook.
Reliance customers in India can access the services in a number of ways: through the Internet.org Android app; at www.internet.org; from the start screen of the Opera Mini mobile web browser; and using the Android app UC Browser for Internet.org.
Most of the services will be available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati, and Marathi.
The full list of services includes:
- Aaj Tak: News in Hindi
- AccuWeather: Weather information
- amarujala.com: News in Hindi
- AP Speaks: Engage with local government
- Babajob: Search for jobs
- BabyCenter & MAMA: Learn about pregnancy and childcare
- BBC News
- Bing Search
- Cleartrip: Check train and flight schedules & buy tickets
- Daily Bhaskar: Read local news
- ESPN Cricinfo: Cricket updates
- Facts for Life: Health and hygiene information
- Girl Effect: Articles and tips for girls
- HungamaPlay: Music
- IBNLive: News
- iLearn: Learn from Women Entrepreneurs
- India Today: Local news
- Internet Basics
- Jagran: Local news
- Jagran Josh: Education and career information
- Maalai Malar: News in Tamil
- Maharashtra Times: News in Marathi
- Malaria No More: Malaria information
- manoramanews.com: Local news
- Messenger: Send messages to friends and family
- NDTV: Read news
- Newshunt: Read news in English
- OLX: Buy and sell products and services
- Reliance Astrology: Read your horoscope
- Reuters Market Lite: Get farming and crop information
- Socialblood: Register to donate blood
- Times of India: Read news
- TimesJobs: Search for jobs
- Translator: Translate words and phrases
- Wikipedia: Find information
- wikiHow: Find information