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Free Facebook access for Tigo Tanzania customers

Free Facebook access for Tigo Tanzania customers.

Customers of mobile network Tigo Tanzania are getting free access to the Facebook ‘Messenger’ application on their handsets.

This is according to a statement from Tigo parent company, Stockholm-based Millicom.

The move follows Millicom and Facebook launching free access to the social network in Latin America.

The deal in Tanzania means that Facebook users on the Tigo network can use the ‘Messenger’ app on their handsets without incurring any data charges.

Millicom does say; though, that the offer is of a “time-limited” nature.

But the Millicom statement further mentions “the launch of a Facebook service in Kiswahilií, the language spoken by millions of people across East and Southern Africa.”

“Facebook has been a real driver of data on mobile networks,” says Millicom president and chief executive officer Hans-Holger Albrecht.

“By extending this unique partnership to Africa, we are giving people another reason to connect through Tigo and providing many customers with their first taste of the internet and social media, including in Kiswahili,” Albrecht added.

Tigo says it has six million subscribers in Tanzania.

Meanwhile, statistics on Tanzania’s number of Facebook users have not been publicly disclosed for 2013, but Internet World Stats says the country had 705,460 Facebook subscribers as of December 2012.

Facebook; however, has embarked on a campaign dubbed ‘Internet.org’ to connect the two-thirds of the globe that does not have internet access: a move that experts have claimed is aimed at boosting access to the social network as well.

Chris Daniels, Internet.org’s vice president of product, commented on the Tigo Tanzania deal.

"We're excited to be working with Tigo again to bring more people online, giving them exposure to the many benefits of connectivity,” says Daniels in a statement.

“We think that widespread access to free basic services will help accelerate the adoption of the internet and we’re committed to working with partners like Tigo on new models that grow subscribers and revenue,” he added.

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