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Facebook on Wednesday announced plans to launch Internet.org app next month in Nigeria. The Internet.org app encourages telecoms to provide free and affordable access to certain web services like Facebook and Wikipedia.
Announcing the plan for Nigeria, head of public policy for Facebook Africa Ebele Okobi, told participants at the Mobile West Africa 2015 conference, that the imminent launch in Nigeria follows similar ones in other African countries including Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya.
Speaking to Memeburn on the sidelines of the conference, she added that the app could be launched on more than one telecoms network in Nigeria, making the country one of the few ones where subscribers on more than one network could access the app.
“We are still looking for content partners and it will be great to get recommendations on specific platforms to be on the app,” Okobi said.
Concerning the response to Internet.org in African countries where it has been launched, she said there have been tremendous results to prove that the app has been able to bring more people online. “People are not just looking at Facebook, they are looking at all sorts of contents — they are looking at a rich array of local content which I think is great,” she said.
On the success — especially popularity and wide acceptance of Facebook in Nigeria and across Africa, Okobi said the reasons for Facebook’s success are not unique to the country or continent. According to her, the social media platform is succeeding for the same reasons across the world.
“I don’t think our growth in Nigeria is different from anywhere else. People want to connect to people they know and love; people want to be able to tell their stories, people want a platform where they can discover new things that are brought to them by people they know,” she told Memeburn. “If you think about how you use Facebook, you go online, you connect with your friends and families, and they are able to put stories that are useful to you and you are able to find out more about them.”
“People love to learn, people love to connect and Facebook provides the platform that enables them to do all of those things in one place,” she added.