“Internet.org is a partnership, it’s an industry coalition working together to make the internet and the different parts of it more efficient. For everyone to have access to it for a really affordable price or free is the real goal for basic internet services. In the Philippines, for example, we’ve been working with Globe, and what we’ve seen in the Philippines is the number of people who are using internet and data has doubled. It’s a homerun, it’s going really well. We delivered this product, where basically, in partnership with them [Globe], there’s free basic services with upsells. We’re starting off with Facebook and Messenger, the next version we’re going to do is more basic services,” shared Zuckerberg in his keynote.
|Mark Zuckerberg speaking before a packed audience at the Mobile World Conference.|
Sharing tools, resources and best practices, Internet.org partners will explore solutions in three major opportunity areas: affordability, efficiency and business models. The Philippines became a test bed for Zuckerberg’s vision, brought to life through leading telecommunications company Globe Telecom offering free Facebook access to its over 38 million customers, in close partnership with Silicon Valley-based Facebook engineers.
“Once again, Globe has proven that it is the mobile data service provider of choice by industry and technology leaders around the world with this breakthrough partnership with Facebook to give our customers uninterrupted, seamless, and worry-free Free Facebook experience. This is collaboration at its peak, which has resulted in the best and most innovative Free Facebook experience yet,” said Peter Bithos, Chief Operating Advisor at Globe Telecom.
|Globe CEO Ernest Cu and Peter Bithos with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook headquarters.|
Aside from offering Facebook at zero data charges, the collaboration between the two global companies has also paved the way for Globe to put together innovation that covers key milestones in the customer experience journey such as availability of access on feature phones and smartphones across all Facebook mobile platforms whether via the Facebook app or the m.facebook.com; proactive notification if the customer will incur data charges once a link that leads out of Facebook is clicked; and one-click registration to the data plan of choice to continue browsing without having to leave the site. Recommended data plans consider a subscriber’s available prepaid balance and/or megabytes (MB) balance of existing data plan.
The Free Facebook service, which was initially offered for three (3) months paved the way for the Philippine telecom company to double its mobile data user base. Mobile browsing and other data revenues also increased to P11.6 billion as of end-2013, up 42% from P8.2 billion in 2012.
The offer also formed part of the company’s mobile data strategy to grow the number of users who access the Internet on their mobile phones, as well as provide a seamless customer experience with service innovations that address the fear of mobile internet. Now, more than 1% of Facebook users worldwide are using Free Facebook on Globe.
Citing strong demand and customer take-up for one of its biggest promos to date, Globe Telecom is extending its Free Facebook offer until April 30, 2014.