Facebook Global Expansion Dream Quite Hard To Achieve
Facebook expansion plans seem to be unattainable.
India has turned to be the bone of contention for Facebook Inc Mr. Mark Zuckerberg since the Telecom Regulatory Authority in the region is dealing with a major blow. The CEO had a vision to reach 5 billion active users on the platform by 2030 however; this does not seem possible now.
According to the agency, the social media giant Free Basics that offered free access to some services over the Internet including Facebook, is against the laws of net neutrality. As per the net neutrality, it is a set of principles that demand equal treatment of traffic all over the Internet.
According to R.S Sharman, the Telecom Regulatory Authority’s chairman, by offering free access to some websites but not to others "is not in the interest of consumers, or of the growth of the Internet.”
India is said to be the fastest evolving Internet industry all over the globe. So by putting a halt to Free Basics can result in a major setback for the company. Moreover, the decision made by the company can also act as a heads up for regulatory authorities all over the globe to put an end to the service in their respective regions. The tech giant has collaborated with carriers in almost 40 regions. Mr. Zuckerberg might just reevaluate his plans to offer free of cost Internet access in the emerging markets altogether.
It needs to be noted that India is an extremely important emerging market for almost all the Internet based companies. Twitter itself has been making massive investment in the region where it acquired ZipDial. Along with that, it also collaborated with Reliance Mobile- the wireless carrier along with LookUp an E-commerce application. Moreover, Alphabet Inc. the parent company of Google has also vouched to offer free Wi-Fi access in train stations in the region.
After the United States, India is said to be the second largest market for Facebook. The users of Free Basics in India are a relatively small percentage of the total 130 million individuals using Facebook every month. By the end of the fiscal year of 2015, Reliance Communications, the wireless partner for Free Basics in India claimed that almost 1 million individuals have tried the application.
However, it will be difficult for the company to sign up 100 million uses. The issue is that the masses in the region have limited to no Internet access in the region. This is why services like Google’s Wi-Fi plan, ZipDial by Twitter, Free Basics and SMS Fast Followers become important. The idea behind these services is to cater to the constraints in the Indian tech fraternity and increasing the Internet exposure of the locals in the region.
Hence in a nutshell, Facebook Free Basics cancellation is a massive blow to Mr. Zuckerberg’s growth plans. The Indian market is extremely lucrative so leaving the region on a bad terms will also have an impact on the future relations of the state and Facebook. The company now needs to win the trust of locals again.