Facebook announced today that it is testing a new tool designed to let you browse the web using a daily balance of free data. The new service called Discover builds upon the company’s work on the Free Basics initiative providing free internet access in territories with poor internet connection.
Discover is available on the mobile web and as an Android app. Facebook says it treats all websites equally. On the other hand, Free Basics is limited only to select websites. In 2016, India banned that program due to net neutrality concerns over its inherent restrictions.
While it lets you browse any website, Discover can be used only for low-bandwidth traffic using free data allocation from partner mobile networks. That means you can’t use the tool to consume video, audio, and data-intensive services on the internet.
Yoav Zeevi, a product manager for Facebook, said:
“With Discover, we’re exploring ways to help people stay on the internet more consistently. Many internet users around the world remain underconnected, regularly dropping off the internet for some period of time when they exhaust their data balance. Discover is designed to help bridge these gaps and keep people connected until they can purchase data again.”
Facebook says security measures with the use of encryption are also in place to ensure safe browsing for users. It does not record the browsing history of users as well to protect their privacy. To access Discover, you can visit 0.discoverapp.com or download the app from the Play Store, assuming you have a SIM from a participating mobile operator. It’s initially rolling out in Peru, and Facebook plans to expand it in other countries including Thailand, the Philippines, and Iraq in the future.