This week saw Facebook’s ‘bring Internet to everyone’ project,Internet.org, launch an app and free basic services in India, a country where over a billion people don’t have online access.
The app was developed in partnership with Reliance Communications. It provides Reliance customers in an initial six Indian states with access to a range of 38x services in categories such as news, sports, search (Microsoft’s Bing), weather, music, and health.
The launch follows the introduction of Internet.org to Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Colombia, and Ghana. With the vast majority of new users coming online via mobile phones in emerging markets, Facebook is positioning itself well (check out the new app for low-end android phones).
On paper, Internet.org is a tremendous step in the right direction for the two-thirds of the world that are not yet online. What’s of more concern is that Facebook will control what over a billion people in one of the world’s fastest growing economies will be able to view. Especially considering the news that millions of Facebook users don’t realise they’re using the Internet…