For some time now, Facebook has faced pressure to dramatically increase the size of its user base. As it stands today, Facebook has about 1.5 billion members across the globe, a figure which represents about 21% of the entire world’s population. Consequently, Facebook has long looked toward India as a surefire way to rapidly expand its global reach. With a population of over 1.5 billion people, India is the second most populous country in the world and clearly an important cog in Facebook’s continued expansion efforts.
The only problem is that the majority of people in India (an estimated 800 million) still don’t have Internet access. Facebook’s solution? Provide free Internet access to the masses.
So as part of Facebook’s ongoing effort to develop a working and amicable relationship with India, Mark Zuckerberg earlier this week hosted Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi. If this at all sounds familiar, it’s because Modi over the past week has been on something of a Silicon Valley rockstar tour, sitting down for meetings with Tim Cook, newly minted Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and even Tesla CEO Elon Musk.