Facebook initiative Internet.org is expanding in India and has got over 8 lakh subscribers.
Internet.org was launched in India with Reliance Communications (Rcom) in February.
The platform, which allows users to access about 30 websites without having to pay data charges, is in operation in six states – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Kerala – on the Reliance Communications’ network.
“The goal of Internet.org is to allow more people to experience the benefits of being online. Latest data from the program points that people are accessing the services and that first time users are aware of how internet services are valuable to them,” a Facebook statement said.
“Internet.org is helping people connect to the internet for the first time. Twenty percent of Internet.org users were previously not active on mobile data (bringing new people online),” it added.
It added that users are going beyond the free websites and have actually started paying for it. “For new internet users acquired by Internet.org, only seven percent of data usage was Internet.org (including Free FB).”
“These new users are now consuming more than 100MB per month outside of Internet.org (that is, people are paying for data from Reliance),” it added.
The promoters’ goal is to extend the services to the rest of the country in a phased manner, and gradually add more telecom operators and services ranging from news, maternal health, travel, local jobs, sports, communication, and local government information.
Facebook recently announced the Internet.org platform as an open programme for developers to easily create services that integrate with it.
“The Internet.org platform aims to give people valuable free services that they can use to discover the entire wealth of online services and, ultimately become paying users of the internet,” it added.
The company said the platform was helping users to not just get access to internet but also to life-saving capabilities.