Internet.org – The Next Big Thing?

Internet.org-Mark-Zuckerberg

Internet is no longer a luxury now. It has become one of the basic necessities of our lives. With 2.7 billion people using the Internet, there are still five billion of us out there who don’t have access to the world wide web. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook, along with half dozen of the world’s technology giants including Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ericsson have agreed to work with Facebook as partners on the initiative they’re calling Internet.org. Mark Zuckerberg posted a status update on his Facebook Timeline

For nine years, we’ve been on a mission to connect the world. We now connect more than 1 billion people, but to connect the next 5 billion we must solve a much bigger problem: the vast majority of people don’t have access to the internet.

Seems like Zuckerberg is not only looking for leaving a bigger mark this time, but he also wants the share of those 5 billion Internet-less people for his social media giant, Facebook. He further wrote

I’m focused on this because I think it’s one of the greatest challenges of our generation. I’ve attached a rough plan I’ve written outlining the work Facebook is doing to solve this and how our industry can work together to connect the next 5 billion people.

The effort on this huge magnitude is the reflection of how companies want to capture the markets that have been out of their reach.

In its press release, Facebook has identified three key challenging areas that they’d be focusing on.

  1. Make access affordable: Partners will work on laying down the infrastructure to access the internet in underserved communities. Partner companies will also collaborate on developing lower-cost and higher-quality devices and software specifically designed to work in those countries.
  2. Using data more efficiently: Partners will develop technoligies and mechanisms to reduce data usage by applications. Development of data compression tools and frameworks to reduce data usage are the main focus of this area.
  3. Helping business drive access: This area focuses on creating out-of-the-box business models and devising plans to help mobile companies (such as Nokia which is one of the partners in this) tailor devices to be used in such regions. It also includes re-aligining business incentives and coming up with localized operating system and language capabilities.

Facebook and its partners are not the only giants in technology that have dreamt of a connected world (with more profits to them, of course), Google is also reaching for the sky with Project Loon, an attempt to beam Internet access down to earth from plastic balloons floating more than 11 miles in the atmosphere.

The global village of an Earth has shrunk down even further. With more and more people getting access to the amazing world of the Internet, it would certainly bring about positive change for the entire human race.

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13 thoughts on “Internet.org – The Next Big Thing?

  1. Just because fb has taken scrapbooking to another level, it doesn’t mean the people who created this wave have any idea of what the world needs. Weren’t these the same mental giants that had business cards with, I’m the CEO, Bitch? The world needs people with wisdom, not cash.

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    • Facebook just didn’t take “scrapbooking” to another level. They have changed the way we communicate. Down to a personal level and even when it comes to businesses finding their customers.
      You gotta admit that Zuckerberg did leave one of the biggest dents in the forseeable history by making what Facebook is today.
      Even though I have my reservations with this Internet.org project, it seems like somewhat of a noble idea for the companies to bring about internet to the poor world. They do have their interests of course, as a business’ primary objective is to make profit. But ultimately those poor people, in my belief, will get some taste of what it is like to be on the Internet.

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      • You have made an interesting comment about this discussion. And having re-read the article, I would like to apologise for my previous comments. I agree it is a noble idea that they have come up with. What is your thoughts on profits? should these companies have vast amount of profits which makes them a lot richer, or that the ideas of making it more affordable to go online, still gives them profits, but not as much? but helping fellow humans.

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      • These companies are in the game of making vast amount of profits. As an investor’s point of view, the bigger the RoI, the better. From what I think, they’re looking forward to 100-200% return on their initial investments. So it’d be naive of us to assume that they are doing it for the greater good. The greater good is just a by-product of making a bucket full of dollars out of this project. What do you think?

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    • Isn’t that’s the way it always work? Maybe not at the start of a comapny but later on? When men in the suit show up and the things to worry about is share value, profit margin etc?

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      • That’s good writing Basit! And I agree with the last line you wrote, and would like to put in my 2 cents to the comment thread. Sure the ultimate goal of any business is to make profits, I have studied business, I am a business minded person and the thought of leaching off of billions of people is a total turn on, I mean come on, we cannot deny the value of money here BUT we also need to realize that the people who do not have access to the internet, the areas of the world that are still in the dark, that are relying on age old books (and many not even on those), the people who are working 24/7 just so they could food on their table, wouldn’t access to the internet make their lives better? Won’t it create more and more jobs? Better education? More awareness? Won’t internet give these people a voice to tell the world about themselves? Won’t it put them on the map? Its very easy to criticize of course but if we are gonna talk about the empty portion of the glass why not shed some light on the half filled one as well? I for one am very excited to see the outcome and progress of this initiative!

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      • Thank you for appreciation, Tashmeem! Your comment clearly specifies that you read the article with utmost interest.
        Well, partially I agree with you. The whole idea about a technology or a piece of hardware changing how millions and billions of people do things, is just so amazing. But the companies we are talking about are industry giants with Wall Street sharks on their backs. Maybe I’m leaning into it too much into it but I do believe that the good things were always be a by-product. Much like Corporate Social Responsibility. What do you think?

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  2. Pingback: Digital Rebels – Google to Unveil Services Against Internet Censorship | Era of Technology

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