Facebook May Purchase a Drone Manufacturer—For a Pretty Cool Reason

The idea of Facebook—a company that has personal data on hundreds of millions of users around the world—paying $60 million for a drone manufacturer sounds a little creepy. But, the idea behind the acquisition of Titan Aerospace is actually pretty cool. Along with tech giants like Google, Facebook is one of the primary backers of the internet.org initiative to bring web access to remote parts of the developing world where nearly 5 billion can’t get online. According to TechCrunch, Facebook plans on using the company’s hi-end drone technology to do just that.

The “Solar 60” drone (or UAV—“unmanned aerial vehicles”) flies high in the atmosphere and operates like a maneuverable satellite to bring Internet connectivity to previously untouched areas. Tech industry rumors suggest that Facebook will kick off the project in parts of Africa where people still don’t have easy access to the Internet. Like Google’s “Project Loon”, which uses hi-tech balloons, the plan is a two-fold mission, partly altruistic and partly business-focused with the goal of overall growth. Internet.org represents a coalition of companies coming together to help underserved communities, but for each business, the regions represent potentially new bases of customers …

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