Facebook has a problem: It can only spread as far as there is Internet. That’s great at first, but once you hit a billion users, you start thinking about what it takes to get the other six billion on your network. And so, Facebook is going to start launching drones and satellites.
Yes, Facebook is getting into the aerospace game. Specifically, Facebook wants to launch a bunch of drones and satellites to bring Facebook to the needy peoples of the world, according to Reuters:
Facebook envisions a fleet of solar-powered drones as well as low-earth orbit and geosynchronous satellites delivering Internet access to different regions of the world. Invisible, infrared laser beams could allow Facebook to dramatically boost the speed of the Internet connections provided by the various aircraft, Facebook said on a Web page that explaining the project.
Also, Facebook’s got a few million HTC Firsts lying around, so they can just ship those overseas. Hopefully they won’t bump into any of those Google blimps. And hopefully those satellites won’t mess up the Outernet.
It’s true that information access would be helpful to many in the Third World, although not as helpful as, oh, we don’t know, food aid. Facebook is pretending that they’re doing this for altruistic reasons is kind of ridiculous: Sure, guys, this isn’t about expanding your market share. That’s just a side bonus.
Still, it can’t hurt to have more access to information available to those who can actually access it. And if Facebook has to spend millions on technology systems, we’ll take the Internet satellites over the VR goggles any day of the week.