After having released project Internet.org one year ago, Facebook decides to enable a free portal to encourage more mobile operators to join the fray. Internet.org is the materialization of the idea to connect the world via internet, offering free mobile access to a variety of web services.
One year ago Internet.org was launched in Africa, but its popularity grew fast, exceeding cultural and physical barriers and expanding across three different continents. The project has already gathered over 9 million people online, and it does not seem like it wants to stop here. It was, afterall, designed with the aim of uniting a population of 4.5 billion.
Facebook argues that the implementation of Internet.org is beneficial for people as well as businesses. Despite the fact that the project is bringing people from once “internet inaccessible zones” together, it also encourages business for mobile operators in the area.
According to Facebook, more than half of the initial 9 million users resorted to a type of paid data package within the first month of usage. This enabled the mobile operators to reinvest in their services and grow twice as fast as they normally would.
However, not every country which had the service implemented reacted in a positive manner. India, for example, condemns Facebook and Internet.org for their disregard towards net neutrality. They do not believe that the implementation of Internet.org encourages free internet usage, but that internet can only be gained through the project, making it more of a guardian or gatekeeper rather than an encouraging entity.
India’s approach remains highly debatable, for their claims speak truth, but the overall reaction to Internet.org from the majority of countries remains positive. Facebook is also pointing out that the amount of paying users reflects the degree of support that people offer to the cause.
In the end, the opening of the portal reflects Facebook’s true intentions concerning worldwide internet unity. By adding a free service, accessible to business partners and customers alike, Internet.org vows to connect the two thirds of the planet which do not have access to the internet.
It is a daring endeavor, one which could be achieved through communication and attention to detail. Luckily for us, Facebook has demonstrated numerous times that it has good vision and a good eye for the small things, so it is appropriate that we give them the benefit of the doubt, have a little faith and see what Internet.org has to offer us after this move.
Photo Credits blogspot.com