Through Facebook’s accessibility initiative, Internet.org, the social media giant now has 100 million active users in Africa, and 80 percent of those are via mobile, signaling that most people on the continent are opting for a small screen for Internet access rather than a laptop or other larger device. This is a whopping 50 percent of all Africans connected to the Internet, reports TechCrunch.
So if drones, satellites, and deals for free access from local carriers get the Internet to more people in such places like India and South America, it is most likely a big percentage of them will become Facebook users.
Facebook’s latest user milestone offers more detail to its typical earnings report of user growth breakdowns, which groups Africa into a big “Rest Of World” region that had 411 million active users at the end of Q2 2014. “To put the 50 percent penetration rate of Facebook amongst Internet-connected Africans, Facebook has a 71 percent penetration rate in the US and Canada region, or 204 million users out of 283.7 million,” reports TechCrunch.
Facebook has been working diligently to get more users in Africa. The tech company recently announced a telecom partnership to bring Internet to the five billion people who are disconnected. Through this deal it debuted its Internet.org app in Zambia. The African telecom Airtel fully subsidizes the data charges so that the Internet.org’s app will show people the value of the Internet, and ultimately get them to buy a subscription to the whole web.
Since Internet usage in much of Africa is prohibitively high, Facebook is working on such types of free Internet carrier partnerships among other ways to decrease data expenditures and offer improved transmission efficiency.
As the company writes “We know that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work when it comes to building products and solutions that address diverse local needs around the world, which is why we’re committed to crafting solutions specifically for high-growth markets.”