Facebook’s been in the news a lot lately: from their new campus to India’s outrage over Internet.org, there doesn’t appear to be many topics in which Zuckerberg’s name doesn’t pop up somewhere.
Good news for Internet.org: Facebook’s just opened up the platform for everybody, and not just the 33 sites that were initially reported to be free for access. In a post on their newsroom, Facebook stated that any developer can now build services and air them for free on the platform, provided that:
a) Don’t use a lot of data. Video, VoIP, file transfer, anything involving high-res photos – they’re out. “Operators have made significant economic investments to bring the internet to people globally,” explains the website, “and Internet.org needs to be sustainable for operators so that they can continue to invest in the infrastructure to maintain, improve and expand their networks.
Of course, there are plenty still against the move, pointing out the inherent lack of security (no SSL, no HTTPS) and the fact that any service on Internet.org only further locks both the content producer and the consumer onto Facebook.
Meanwhile, on another front, Facebook is tying up with IBM for advertising. This is potentially a darker turn of events (or even better, depending on which side you stand). IBM and Facebook are set to open up a whole new layer of analytics and advertising for advertisers: an example from IBM is cited as “a retailer could identify Facebook users interested in long-distance running, then deliver targeted deals based on the type of gear they’re interested in, as well as their location.”
This is great news for retailers, who now apparently get to combine things like purchase histories with the data already available on Facebook for more controlled advertising. Many users, though, are going to find this fantastically creepy.
This tech apparently comes from IBM’s massive investments in analytics (over $24 billion over the past few years, according tot Jay Henderson, director of IBM Commerce). We’re not yet sure as to whether garden-variety advertisers will get access to the full power of these new analytics, or whether they’ll be reserved for bigger customers.