Internet.org, which marked its first anniversary on Monday, has been able to bring in new users at a faster pace as well as making at least half of them move to a paid model within a month, Facebook has claimed.
In a telephonic interaction with the IndianExpress.com, Chris Daniels, vice-president of product for Internet.org at Facebook, said: “We have noticed that users who have joined Internet.org want to move on and experience more internet. This is why at least half of them started moving to a paid plan within 30 days of going online.”
While Facebook claimed that Internet.org brings new users onto mobile networks on average over 50% faster after launching free basic services, the other interesting data point is that users accessed health services more than a million times just in the past month. Launched initially in Zambia, Internet.org is now available in 17 countries with over a dozen service providers.
In India, it is accessible in six service through Reliance. “Yes, we do want more service providers and developers to be part of the service. In fact, we want all service providers to come on board,” Daniels said. Daniels said the first year was one of learning. So, Facebook has now launched a partner portal that includes technical tools and best practices, improving the process to offer free basic services to the unconnected.
Speaking about India, he said: “The DoT report emphasises the principles for the preservation of net neutrality and the statistics we have released today show is that Internet.org is a gateway to the internet and not a gatekeeper.” He said the report recognises the case they have made for an open platform.
“I think it is necessary for all countries to have services that bring more people online, as these people will then have a better life,” he added.