Facebook has announced the Internet.org Platform, which will enable developers to join its walled-off internet offering for free.
The Internet.org project is intended to make affordable access to basic internet services available to every person in the world.
By working with network operators to free up a small amount of bandwidth for the initiative, the idea is to get more people online – albeit with limited access to certain restricted services.
Now, with the announcement of its Internet.org Platform, Facebook is opening out the service to developers.
The social network has come in for some criticism for the Internet.org initiative, which will effectively wall off the internet for certain users in developing countries, offering only a small slice of what’s available on the wider web.
However, with the Internet.org Platform, any company can offer its services through the service without charge. All they need to do is meet certain technical requirements aimed at keeping data consumption down.
Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has released a video explaining this charge-free approach, as well as clarifying his stance on net neutrality in light of claims that Internet.org goes against its principles.
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Zuckerberg’s argument seems to be that net neutrality is great for those in the privileged position of being able to access the internet, but isn’t much good for the two thirds of the world’s population that can’t afford to get connected in any shape or form.
He also points out that Facebook will not profit from Internet.org, and won’t even place any ads on it.