What is Facebook Free Basics?
The Relationship Between Facebook Free Basics and Internet.Org
Facebook Free Basics is the result of Facebook’s humanitarian partnership with Internet.org, a Facebook-founded initiative (dating back to 2013) to make the internet more affordable and therefore accessible to the rest of the world in 63 different countries. It functions off of the belief that connectivity is a human right, and is closely related to the motivation of Facebook’s acquisition of the widely used messaging platform Whatsapp. Other large companies such as Google have been exploring similar initiatives.
The goal is to provide important, and potentially life-saving, information to areas that may otherwise may not have access to because they don’t have internet service. Facebook has even worked with Google in the past to try to explore the best ways of providing connectivity, oscillating between drones and balloons. Regardless of how it was provided, users could access pertinent information for free on certain sites by signing up for Facebook Free Basics.
These are some of the important types of basic information available through Facebook Free Basics:
- Local news
- Job opportunities
- Government pages
- Maternal health information
- Educational information and resources
This push for equal access to important knowledge ensures that cost is not a barrier to learning and becoming acquainted with different channels of education. Especially in a post-Covid economy, securing more users on the internet is foundational to moving forward and eventually being able to pay for the internet.
Solen Feyissa / Unsplash
Should I Make My Site Visible Through Free Basics?
Developers may have a vested interest in getting a website on Free Basics. Any site can partner with Free Basics as long as they meet the requirements. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Traffic is mediated through the Internet.Org proxy and that is how it becomes zero-rated.
- The IP addresses are going to have to come from the Internet.Org server.
- There are no ads on the Facebook version of Free Basics.
How is Facebook Free Basics Different from Facebook Zero?
Zuckerburg, CEO of Facebook, himself said that Free Basics is the next stage of Facebook Zero, which was an app initiative that used zero data.
Facebook Zero was a partnership with mobile internet providers to waive the data charge so people could access a text-only version of Facebook for free. This also allows for free access to important information.