Facebook has been shelling out some serious money over the last few years. First of all there was the purchase of Sequoia capital-backed Parakey in 2007, then, a few years later and at a more costly amount came Gowalla for $3 million. Next up in the big purchase line up was Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram for a whopping $1 Billion. Recently they have just made that purchase of messaging service WhatsApp for a massive $19 Billion.
The spending spree is far from over, as it has come to light that Facebook is in discussions to purchase Titan Aerospace. Titan are a company that designs and constructs solar-powered drones that can evidently stay up in the skies for periods up to five years at a time. Apparently, Facebook needs solar-powered drones to deliver their sky-based Internet access, with a view in the short to medium term future, of building 11,000 UAVs, which are capable of delivering data services in Africa.
The drone company has indeed confirmed that there are discussions with the social networking giant and this plan would certainly ring true with the social network’s Internet.org efforts to expand online access in developing countries.
Never being one to be left behind in, well, anything. Google has also been trialling Internet access from the sky, through their Project Loon work. Project Loon is offering 50 testers Internet access via solar-powered helium balloons. The experiments are currently centred on New Zealand, in the southern hemisphere.
The purchase of Titan Aerospace will reportedly cost Facebook $60 million. At least is wasn’t $19 Billion!
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[Images via titanaerospace]