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Facebook’s New Lets Developers Reach Underserved Internet Audience

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5/12/2015 11:00:57 AM
Facebook’s New Lets Developers Reach Underserved Internet Audience
Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2015 by Stuart Parkerson, Global Sales

Facebook’s New Lets Developers Reach Underserved Internet Audience
Facebook is launching the new platform, an initiative that will allw developers to create services that integrate with, a Facebook-led initiative bringing together technology leaders, nonprofits and local communities to connect the two thirds of the world that does not have internet access. 

The goal of the new program is to create non-exclusive partnerships with mobile operators to offer free basic internet services to people through including a set of basic websites and services to introduce people to the value of the internet

These websites are designed to be simple and data efficient, so operators can offer these for free in an economically sustainable way. Websites do not have pay to be included, and operators don’t charge developers for the data people use for their services.

The principles of the initiative include:

Affordability: No one should have to choose between food or medicine and access to the internet. supporters will join forces to develop technology that decreases the cost of delivering data to people worldwide, and helps expand internet access in under-served communities.

Efficiency: Transmitting data, even a text message or a simple web page, requires bandwidth - something that’s scarce in many parts of the world. Partners will invest in tools and software to improve data compression capabilities and make data networks and services run more efficiently.

Business Models: Connecting billions of people will be a massive global effort that requires ongoing innovation. Developers, mobile operators and device manufacturers will work together to introduce business models that give people more ways to go online.

Developers that join will need to follow principles designed to align all participants’ incentives and bring more people online. Participation will remain free for any developer or user. 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. Websites must be built to be optimized for browsing on both feature and smartphones and in limited bandwidth scenarios. In addition, websites must be properly integrated with to allow zero rating and therefore can’t require JavaScript or SSL/TLS/HTTPS and must meet these technical guidelines.

Facebook has provided detailed participation guidelines to help developers understand how to participate in the initiative.


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