Facebook Is Reportedly Buying Drones (For Far Less Than Price Of WhatsApp)

Chris CrumIT Management

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Now Facebook is buying drones apparently.

TechCrunch is reporting that the company is in talks to buy drone maker Titan Aerospace for $60 million. Yes, that is far less than what the company is paying for WhatsApp.

Titan Aerospace makes high-flying, solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles. Here's a look at the Solara 50:

According to the report, under Facebook, Titan would start building 11,000 of the Solara 60 model.

Okay, Amazon using drones to deliver products makes some kind of far-out sense, but what on earth is Facebook going to do with them? Well, they're going to make the Internet more accessible. According to TechCrunch, Facebook wants to use the drones (which are supposed to be able to fly for five years without landing) to help spread Internet access in places that lack it, starting with Africa.

The whole thing fits right in with Facebook's Internet.org initiative, which clearly it is taking very seriously.

Facebook announced several updates to Internet.org at Mobile World Congress last week. One provides students in Rwanda with free access to a "collaborative online education experience." One is a partnership with Ericsson on an "Innovation Lab," which will give developers the ability to test apps. Another is a partnership with Unilever to address barriers to Internet access in rural India.

Facebook's drones-for-Internet interest brings to mind a similar initiative from Google - Project Loon - which utilizes hot air balloons to spread high-speed Internet access.

Image via Facebook

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.