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  • 04.13.16

25 million people are using Facebook’s Free Basics

Facebook’s F8 conference, which kicked off yesterday, revealed the full reach—25 million people—of Free Basics, the company’s free service offering limited Internet access in developing countries. 

The Next Web argued in a post today that, based on the total population of the 37 countries where Free Basics operates, the service has only been adopted by about 1.7% of its potential audience. But that figure ignores the fact that all of those 1.4 billion people do not, in fact, have phones—and that some of the people who do are using traditional data plans to access the Internet. 

Plus, it’s still early—Free Basics launched in Zambia in July 2014—and the product faced heavy pushback in countries like Egypt and India. 

These numbers are, however, a reminder that Free Basics being banned in India—a country whose population is over a billion—was a huge blow to Facebook. PM