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Zuckerberg in India: mn-dollar fund, languages for connected audiences

Among  the most discoursed, Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg was in the Indian capital to address the first internet.org summit. The initiative seeks to make internet access affordable for people who do not have it globally.

The focus of the internet.org initiative is to bring the next five billion people without Internet access to come online. No internet access acts as a hindrance to creativity and ideas. India has embraced science, the next generation has the opportunity to bring the world to India and India to the world, Zuckerberg said.

Internet.org is a platform collaborating the efforts of Facebook and six mobile companies- Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera Software, and Qualcomm to foster the efficiency and effectiveness of internet services across all communities.

The main objective of internet.org is to make internet accessible and affordable to two thirds of the world who are still not connected to the services. At the summit Mark Zuckerberg reiterated the objective and pushed for boosting internet access in India. For the emerging markets, one-million-dollar fund has been created for developing application for farmers, migrants and women in local languages.

Another important highlight of Zuckerberg’s address was the availability of media content in different languages. “Lack of local language content is a barrier to internet as 80% of the content on the internet is available only in 10 languages,” he added. It will be surprising to note that more than 65% of Facebook account holders use it in languages other than English. The co-founder insisted that we need services and content in everyone’s languages.

“We have no plans to monetize whatsapp in the near future. We want to increase the users of the mobile messages services to one billion from 600 million a month now,” Facebook’s chief added.

Mark Zuckerberg is expected to meet the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow and the theme of the discussion is closely related to government’s Digital India project. Likewise, Facebook is committed to ‘connect villages with the digital world’.

The young CEO is excited to help the government in its ambitious INR One lakh crore Digital India project as he sees unlimited potential in Facebook’ second largest market with over 100 million users, only behind its home market.