Internet.org, Facebook’s nonprofit project aiming to provide internet access to people in developing nations, has received some negative attention since it launched last February in India.
The new developer program seems to address complaints made by critics of Internet.org, who didn’t like the idea that those in developing countries who can’t afford to pay for Internet access would only be able to use apps that were hand- picked by Facebook. This, says critics, gives preferential treatment to the Facebook-selected bundled services instead of allowing consumers free choice for what they can browse online.
The new developer program is meant to give other smaller players a chance to be part of Internet.org’s free bundled offerings.
Before making the official announcement on Monday, the Facebook CEO posted a video message to users emphasizing the fact that Internet.org is meant to help people — not to restrict the type of information they have access to. He described it as a service for "people who have no voice."