Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he is bringing free internet to Europe, in a move that will benefit businesses worldwide.
In a Q&A slot, entrepreneur and fellow billionaire, Richard Branson asked:
“Hi Mark. I share your view that it is crucial to connect the two thirds of the world that don‘t currently have access to the internet. What do you think will be the biggest benefits of this?”.
Not only will the company raise 100m out of poverty, but the internet will present opportunities for budding entrepreneurs otherwise hidden, by a lack of worldwide connection.
Zuckerberg highlighted that when looking at the population, almost two thirds of the world‘s inhabitants aren‘t connected to the internet, many of whom could be budding entrepreneurs:
“Once they get connected, we may have 3x as many good ideas and amazing new services built that will benefit everyone around the world”.
When asked whether Facebook will be expanding its ‘Internet.org‘ project into Europe, Zuckerberg said that the priority would be in the countries with the, “most unconnected people”.
The free internet plan will be expanded beyond the developing world in India, Zambia and Colombia to first world countries in Europe.
E-tailers will benefit from having everyone online, as it will allow them to reach consumers from further around the world. This will be ideal for British e-retailers who are already achieving double digit growth in online sales in March. Ecommerce sales for non-food items grew by 12.3% compared to the same month the year before, according to the British Retail Consortium.
“The steady advance of online sales and the continuation of a strong penetration rate is good for retailers with an online presence” cited Helen Dickinson, Director General of the BRC.
Zuckerberg underlined Facebook‘s plans to promote itself as a business platform. Last month the company introduced a new feature in its messenger app that allows Facebook users to send money to one another, “like you‘d send them a photo”. Zuckerberg is confident that this will, “roll out more widely”.
With more and more retailers turning online and pushing in store beacons, easier access to the internet will make the most of all business platforms. ”Everyone who is already connected will benefit from having everyone online” Zuckerberg added.