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Facebook to train 5 mn Indians by 2021 in digital skills

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MUMBAI: Facebook in India is planning to train five million people with digital skills in three years, to help small businesses reach the global economy, according to ET telecom.

The social media giant has already trained one million people across 150 cities and 48,000 villages with support from 50 partners. These numbers were disclosed at the inaugural day of the two-day Facebook community boost programme aimed at helping small businesses gain digital marketing skills.

Facebook public policy director India, South and Central Asia Ankhi Das said, "We have a very strong framework of partnership with local partners and state governments. We are very excited that our programmes such as BoostYourBusiness, SheMeansBusiness, that are run in partnership with State and Central Government, civil society and private institutions, focus on facilitating economic transformation and mainstreaming of small businesses at the grassroots level into the formal economy. The company also works closely with the Ministry of Skill Development And Entrepreneurship on digital training."

The Facebook training programmes entail simple lessons that help to build a digital presence, avoiding expensive fees for creating and hosting websites, tap into the growing mobile economy, gain market access by learning to market their products to more than two billion people globally who use Facebook, increase awareness about their products and services.

According to Das, the training programmes for India will also help people learn how to utilise Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform Instagram.

The training modules for these businesses in digital marketing and online safety developed by Facebook are available in 14 local languages.

Facebook said its programmes reached 29 states in India, including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Odisha and Rajasthan among others.

"More than 80 per cent of SMBs (small and midsize businesses) on Facebook say they have increased sales because of the platform and access to global and local market," Das said, citing the findings of a recent survey.

The results showed that over 70 per cent of SMBs on the social networking platform built their business on Facebook.

On concerns of businesses generating fake like or page views, Das said that Facebook is aggressively fighting spread of misinformation on the platform by taking down fake accounts.

In the last two quarters, Facebook has removed more than 1.5 billion fake accounts, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a note last week.

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