Facebook Zero… Universal access or corporate takeover..?


29870_10150198037500484_591250483_12629673_5255818_aSo Facebook are launching Facebook Zero offering fast mobile access to Facebook (i.e. an ultra-low bandwidth version), free (no data charges) in various countries…

On the surface, clearly a great move – especially in countries where data-speeds and data-costs mean this would be prohibitive to much of the population.

But…

  • It is limited to certain networks…  So – given Facebook’s global monopoly on social networking – this potentially becomes a massive anti-competitive move to push people to one specific provider in a country…
  • It increases Facebook’s presence and role as the “sole gateway to the web” ever further, potentially further eroding the role of the Web as the source of multiple, alternative, views on the world.
  • The people who can’t already afford to pay data charges and use a fast network now can access Facebook but… Nothing Else..!?  That’s not quite the free and open digital world being presented…

So the question becomes, while of course free and fair universal access to all information is the real objective, in the meantime . . . is it better to have free and fast access to Facebook – and ONLY Facebook – or not…

Tough one!  Comments and opinions welcomed! 🙂

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