Facebook is currently testing out a new app that can help expand the use of the internet in developing countries. The Discover app allows users to have access to free browsing data, that is given by a variety of different mobile partners. Currently, Facebook is trying out its new app in Peru, but it plans to expand its app to more countries, including Iraq, the Philippines, and Thailand.
When users sign up for the app, they get free data from the provider every day. They will also receive a notification when the data is available for them to use. Currently, the browsing is low bandwidth. This means that you can load text on any given website, but you can’t load things like audio and video. If you are trying to stream something, then you’ll need to buy more data.
One of the best things about the Discover app is that you don’t need a Facebook account to use it. Facebook also claims that they don’t save and archive browser histories, and they do not see targeted Facebook ads, but the jury is still out on this one.
The Discover app is not the first app that Facebook has launched to provide internet access to those who might not be able to afford it. The Free Basics initiative aimed at providing internet access to regions that had a low rate of connectivity. Interestingly, this app was banned in India in 2016. The Indian telecom authority ruled that the program was biased toward some internet servers and not others, which violated net neutrality. Discover is different, though – it doesn’t show bias toward specific websites, and it’s working on being more compliant with different country’s standards.
As long as you have a smartphone and a SIM card, you should be able to access and benefit from Facebook’s new Discover app.