Facebook users in the Middle East and Africa use the site in some surprisingly different ways

M-Pesa

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Facebook now has 191 million users in the Middle East and Africa, 85% of who are visiting via mobile.

Mendelsohn described what a difference that makes: “I was in Nairobi, Kenya, earlier this year and their whole payment system there is mobile. M-Pesa is unbelievable. So you can be walking down the streets of a market, and the market will be no different to something that you could have been in a thousand years ago, but everyone is trading by using their mobile phone. And you kind of go, ‘well how come I can go shopping on the streets of London and it’s unfathomable [to be able to do that]?’ So there’s a lot we can learn from being over there.”

…Mendelsohn told us she met a number of female entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia through an organization called Glowork. They’re using Facebook as way to sell their products.

…In 2014, Facebook introduced “missed call” units in India. When a user in India sees an ad on Facebook they can place a “missed call,” by clicking that ad from their mobile. In return, they’ll receive a call such as music, cricket scores, or messages from celebrities, from the advertiser.

Saudi scholar issues fatwa against stealing someone else’s WiFi

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A Saudi scholar issued a fatwa against using another person’s WiFi without permission, since theft cannot be tolerated in Islam.

…The WiFi fatwa is far less provocative, although the need for it confused some commentators. Why not just encourage people to put passwords on their private Internet?

“We do not need a religious edict to pinpoint such basic things,” a Saudi blogger noted, according to the Gulf Times. “Private property should remain private, especially [since] the owner paid money for the services. Nobody should just take advantage.”