Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to connect five billion more people to the Internet. This is his announcement on 19th August for the formation of Internet.org a partnership with some of the biggest players in the smartphone space, to bring internet connectivity to poor people in the developing world who can’t afford or access it yet.
It may not actually be proﬁtable for us to serve the next few billion people.
The group positioned itself as a charitable effort, but there is wide speculation about this being a sober business move that would put Facebook and its friends in the smartphone world front-and-center to court the biggest group of untapped customers left on planet earth.
Internet.org is a global partnership between technology leaders, nonprofits, local communities and experts who are working together to bring the internet to the two thirds of the world’s population that doesn’t have it.
Sharing tools, resources and best practices, Internet.org partners will explore solutions in three major opportunity areas: affordability, efficiency, and business models.
The idea that Facebook and these other public companies are working to spread the internet without any thought or promise of eventual profit seems unlikely, to say the least. Facebook has already saturated the industrialized world, so developing countries have created Facebook’s fastest growing source of revenue
. Over the last year, the company’s revenue has grown 43 percent in North America and 45 percent in Europe. In Asia and the rest of the world, by contrast, Facebook’s revenue grew 82 percent and 88 percent.