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Facebook and Google Create Walled Gardens for Web Newcomers Overseas

 With more than half the people in the world still not online, Facebook and Google are waging a battle to make sure that Internet newcomers get their first tastes of the Web from them.

Each company is persuading wireless carriers in poor countries to offer customers free or very cheap online access that is limited to stripped-down versions of the Web giants’ sites. The idea is that once these new users get some experience in a walled garden of Facebook or Google, they will want more Internet access and pay for it, making the carriers’ initial investment worthwhile.

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