|Why is Facebook Interested in Drones?|
|By JON M. CHANG||Mar 4, 2014, 5:02 PM|
Barely two weeks since Facebook coughed up $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp, the social network is on the hunt for another company. It's venturing outside the app world, this time with its eyes set on the skies.
Facebook is interested in buying the drone manufacturer Titan Aerospace for $60 million, according to TechCrunch.
But don't expect a troop of Facebook drones to swoop in to monitor your every "like" and photo tag. Though Titan drones can be customized to help track oil spills or helping with search and rescue missions, it's likely the drone's voice and data capabilities that Facebook finds attractive.
At a keynote address at last week's Mobile World Congress, Mark Zuckerberg brought up Internet.org, an organization devoted to making the Internet available to the entire planet. "It's only about a third of people [that] have any access to Internet at all," he said in his speech. "It's a really important problem."
Facebook and its partners at Internet.org, which include Samsung and Nokia, among others, aren't the only ones looking to wire the remaining two-thirds of the planet. Google has Project Loon, which uses balloons instead of drones. Loon made its debut in New Zealand in the summer of 2013 and has also been spotted in California.
Teresa Mastrangelo, principal analyst at Broadbandtrends, said that more traditional companies are also looking for ways to get involved. "I'm sure Bell Labs has stuff going on behind closed doors," she told ABC News. "But the biggest difference is that companies [like Google and Facebook] are a more public display."
Neither Facebook nor Titan responded to ABC News' request for comment.