Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that its Internet.org now helps millions of people around the world access the internet.
On Wednesday, Nov. 2 Facebook announced its third quarter financial results and Zuckerberg also took the opportunity to reveal the company's efforts in bringing affordable internet access to less-developed countries.
Zuckerberg also laid down the company's plans for the next decade and he confirmed that connectivity is one of main areas of focus in this period.
"Through our efforts with Internet.org, we've connected 40 million people based on our best estimate," said Zuckerberg. "And we're making good progress with our Express WiFi program, which empowers entrepreneurs to build a business by providing their community with access to the internet."
Internet.org Grows 166 Percent Year-Over-Year
Internet.org is an initiative started by Facebook and six other companies in 2014. The initiative has been criticized for violating net neutrality but it has grown at a great pace since 2014. Internet.org started with 3 million users and in 2015 the number went up to 15 million. In May this year the figure reached 25 million. Reports suggest that the program has seen a growth of 166 percent year-over-year.
Free Basics, a carrier-subsidized app and part of Internet.org, is driving internet connectivity. Facebook wants its satellites and solar-powered drones to bring internet access to many remote areas. Internet.org is targeting people who are unable to afford data plans in their regions, or those who have no access to the internet.
Internet.org is currently available in 49 countries and rumors are also surfacing that Facebook may launch the service in the United States soon.
Facebook is one of the most popular social networking services available in the world. Facebook has millions of users across the globe and the company can get more users by solving connectivity issues.
Facebook's Plan For The Next 10 Years
During the Q3 2016 earnings call, Zuckerberg also revealed that Facebook's other areas of focus in the next 10 years will be on artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality.
Zuckerberg revealed that about 25 percent of Facebook teams are using AI in their work. The company has made improvements to its AI, which can now efficiently filter misleading stories and News Feeds. Facebook's AI is also being used to find terrorist publicity on the social network.
Zuckerberg says that Facebook's AI is in the early stages of development and the company is continuously working to improve content quality of what people view and share on Facebook.
The Facebook founder and CEO also announced that Oculus is doing great and the company is investing another $250 million to improve VR content.