Indian PM Narendra Modi’s reelection spells more frustration for US tech giants

The re-election of Modi will in many ways chart the path of India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem, the local play of Silicon Valley companies, and future of India’s internet Manish Singh 17 hours Amazon and Walmart’s problems in India look set to continue after Narendra Modi, the biggest force to embrace the country’s politics in decades, […]

Facebook expands its internet infrastructure projects

Like every year, Facebook is using MWC Barcelona to focus on its infrastructure projects. While you may mostly think of Facebook as a social network, the company started launching infrastructure projects for bringing more people online (and onto its network) many years ago. These projects include things like the (now-cancelled) solar-powered Aquila drone and plenty […]

Facebook is reportedly testing solar-powered internet drones again — this time with Airbus

Facebook last year grounded its ambitious plan to develop a solar-powered drone to beam internet across the world, but the company isn’t done with the concept, it seems. The social media giant is working with aeronautics giant Airbus to test drones in Australia, according to a new report from Germany’s NetzPolitik. Using a request under […]

Facebook is hiring a director of human rights policy to work on “conflict prevention” and “peace-building”

Facebook is advertising for a human rights policy director to join its business, located either at its Menlo Park HQ or in Washington DC — with “conflict prevention” and “peace-building” among the listed responsibilities. In the job ad, Facebook writes that as the reach and impact of its various products continues to grow “so does […]

Pew: Social media still growing in emerging markets but stalled elsewhere

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s (so far) five-year project to expand access to the Internet in emerging markets makes plenty of business sense when you look at the latest report by the Pew Research Center — which shows social media use has plateaued across developed markets but continues to rise in the developing world. In 2015-16, roughly four-in-ten adults […]

Facebook’s Free Basics program ended quietly in Myanmar last year

As recently as last week, Facebook was touting the growth of Free Basics, its Internet.org project designed to give users free curated web access in developing countries, but the app isn’t working out everywhere. As the Outline originally reported and TechCrunch confirmed, the Free Basics program has ended in Myanmar, perhaps Facebook’s most controversial non-Western market […]

Facebook’s Internet.org has connected almost 100M to the ‘internet’

Facebook is getting the developing world online, even as the developed world criticizes its privacy practices. Mark Zuckerberg said today on Facebook’s Q1 2018 earnings call that “our Internet.org efforts have helped almost 100 million people get access to the internet who may not have had it otherwise.” That’s up from 40 million in November 2016. […]

Facebook launches Express Wi-Fi app for its local-operated hotspots

Facebook wants you to pay for internet. This week TechCrunch was tipped off that Facebook had quietly launched an Express Wi-Fi Android app in the Google Play store that lets users buy data packs and find nearby hotspots as part of Facebook’s distributed Wi-Fi network. The company’s Express Wi-Fi program is live in five developing countries […]