Fb opens Internet.org for developers

Published on May 05, 2015 02:04:02 AM
Facebook on Monday introduced the Internet.org Platform, an open programme for developers to easily create services that integrate with Internet.org. The company is also giving people more choice over the free basic services they can use. "Our goal with Internet.org is to work with as many developers and entrepreneurs as possible to extend the benefits of connectivity to diverse, local communities.

To do this, we are going to offer services through Internet.org in a way that’s more transparent and inclusive,” Facebook said. Facebook will as part of the Internet.org is entering into non-exclusive partnerships with mobile operators to offer free basic Internet services to people through Internet.org. This is a set of basic websites and services to introduce people to the value of the Internet.

These websites are simple and data efficient, so operators can offer these for free in an economically sustainable way. Websites do not pay to be included, and operators don’t charge developers for the data people use for their services. Because these services have to be specially built to these specifications, Facebook has started by offering just a few. Facebook also said that it is building an open platform and anyone who meets these guidelines will be able to participate. Developers will need to follow three principles in building versions of Facebook and Messenger for Internet.org.

These are designed to align all participants’ incentives and bring more people online. Participation will remain free for any developer or user. The goal of Internet.org is to allow more people to experience the benefits of being online. For most people who are not online, the biggest barrier to connecting is not lack of infrastructure– more than 80 per cent of the world’s population already lives within range of a mobile signal. Instead, the biggest challenges are affordability of the Internet, and awareness of how Internet services are valuable to them.

The Internet.org platform aims to give people valuable free services that they can use to discover the entire wealth of online services and, ultimately become paying users of the Internet. To sustainably deliver free basic Internet services to people, Facebook plans to build apps that use data efficiently. Operators have made significant economic investments to bring the Internet to people globally, and Internet.org needs to be sustainable for operators so that they can continue to invest in the infrastructure to maintain, improve and expand their networks, Facebook said. 

And websites that require high-bandwidth will not be included. Services should not use VoIP, video, file transfer, high resolution photos or high volume of photos. They must be built to be optimised for browsing on both feature and smartphones and in limited bandwidth scenarios.