Facebook is now allowing any developer to join its Internet.org initiative so long as they comply with three basic principles. This is in stark contrast to the social network’s initial decision to only let select services join, a move that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described as a pragmatic one.
Chris Daniels, Facebook’s vice president of product for Internet.org, recently outlined the three principles that newcomers must adhere to.
First, a service developed for Internet.org should encourage people to explore the broader Internet. This means that sites may contain links to other sites which encourages users to see what else the web has to offer.
The second principle targets efficiency and mandates that developers must create a simpler version of their service as a free basic service. Daniels described this principle as necessary for both operators and the entire business model. As such, high-resolution images and videos aren’t going to make the cut.
Daniels admitted that the move to open up Internet.org to developers had always been part of their long-term strategy but the recent net neutrality debate in India certainly accelerated their plans. When asked whether they were concerned about the future of Internet.org in India, Daniels pointed out that they are operating in nine countries right now and people haven’t pulled out anywhere else. He added that he was very optimistic about the initiative both globally and in India looking forward.
Last month, Internet.org fielded criticism from a handful of Indian companies regarding net neutrality concerns. As a result, a handful of early participants including travel website Cleartrip and The Times of India revoked their participation.