Jaime, a driver in Manila who uses Facebook and the Internet to stay in touch with loved ones who moved to Dubai. Credit: Co-founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook timeline.
Filipinos with Internet-enabled phones can now gain access to a number of mobile Internet services for free via the Internet.org app.
The app — which is offered through Smart Communications' Talk 'N Text collaboration with Facebook — allows Filipino users to access 24 websites, Facebook and Messenger on their mobile phones. Accessible websites include Ask.com, Bing, Dictionary.com, wikiHow, Wikipedia, Inquirer, PhilStar, Interaksyon, Rappler, ESPN, SPIN.PH, Accuweather, RainCheckPH, Wattpad.
Users may also check out free programmes and trainings on TESDA.gov.ph, as well as check employment opportunities on Jobstreet. Besides that, the app allows them to sell items on OLX.ph; gain financial literacy via PesosandSense and YourMoney.com; learn about women's issues in sites like BabyCenter & MAMA and Girl Effect; and access health information on UNICEF's Facts for Life.
Commenting on the app, Charles A. Lim, executive vice president and wireless consumer division head of Smart and Sun, said that it will "create a win for its subscribers as it opens up doors for greater social opportunities for them at no extra cost."
TNT, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines looking to enjoy the new service can do so by downloading the Internet.org app on Google Play Store or texting "INTERNET" to 9999.
Bringing Internet to the unconnected
Internet.org is a Facebook-led initiative that aims to bring affordable mobile Internet services to two-thirds of the world that have yet to be connected to the Internet.
Since 2014, the initiative has gone live in six countries including Colombia, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, India and Zambia. According to Facebook's CEO Sheryl Sandberg, the initiative has gotten nearly 7 million people online for the first time.
"We are working with operators, content partners, and governments from all over the world to address the barriers that prevent people from connecting and joining the knowledge economy," said Markku Makelainen, director of global operator partnerships at Facebook. "We are excited to bring Internet.org app to the Philippines and give people access to Internet services and tools that can help create new ideas and opportunities."
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