Facebook has announced that Internet.org, the service through which it offers free Internet access to those who don’t have it yet, will be opened up to developers.
The move comes soon after the Internet.org initiative was targeted for being anti net neutrality because it provided access only to a select number of websites and services.
“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,” said the company in a blogpost.
The social network giant claimed that it chose the previous group of partners in order to build a simple and data efficient offering, however since consumer choice is of great importance, it is opening up the platform to other developers.
Facebook claims that its Internet.org initiative has already introduced 8 million people to the Internet, and that opening the platform up to more developers will onboard a larger number of people.
Internet.org has been criticized for being a zero rating service that made for an unequal Internet, and the negativity surrounding it lead to partners such as Cleartrip, The Times Group, NDTV etc to pull out.
The initiative will remain to be one where Facebook does not gain monetarily, however more people on the Internet means more potential users for Facebook’s services, which will ultimately lead to increased earnings for the company.
However, a free and open platform isn’t being seen as a bad one at this point of time. It’s just that none of the platforms are truly open, but Facebook seems to be showing that it’s trying to set things straight.
Developers will need to adhere to a set of technical specifications if they want to develop services for Internet.org.