Amid criticism that Internet.org – Facebook’s project to provide free Internet to new users – violates the principles of net neutrality, the service is now being turned into a platform for all developers.
Facebook, along with its operating partners from Internet.org, have faced accusations of taking a “king maker” role by picking the services included in the free internet portal, thereby giving an unfair advantage to a selected number of companies. Opening up the platform will hopefully even out the competition.
“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’re going to offer services through Internet.org in a way that’s more transparent and inclusive,” said Facebook in a recent blog post.
Additionally, Facebook has said Internet.org users will soon be able to access new third-party services, as Internet.org will venture beyond the initial limits of the portal to become a free layer of Internet.
The platform will be open to all developers, as long as they adhere to three central principles:
- “Services should encourage the exploration of the broader internet wherever possible.”
- “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.”
“We’re building an open platform, and anyone who meets these guidelines will be able to participate,” Facebook added.
Internet.org was originally made available in a handful of African countries, and has now expanded into Asia including India (population over 1 billion) and Indonesia (population 250 million).