Yesterday, we hosted Airtel at the Nailab to talk about their partnership with Facebook to bring Internet.Org to Kenya. It was a panel session with Naheed Hirji – Head of growth and partnerships at Facebook, Joep Verheji – Head of Data and Devices Airtel Kenya, and Martin Nielsen – Mdundo Co-founder taking us through the reason behind Internet. Org and its place in Kenya.
Internet.org, an initiative by Mark Zuckerberg is a coalition of Facebook, Samsung and several other large tech companies that promises to bring low-cost Internet access to people in under-serviced parts of the world. Kenya is the third country to get Internet.org. Zambia and Tanzania have been using the app and the reception has been good. This prompted Airtel to consider allwoing KEnyans to enjoy the services provided and yesterday marked the launch for it.
We got to learn that Internet.Org is all about the mass market. I has been designed to allow two thirds of the world get internet access at a more affordable way and easier to access means. The target market is those who do to have an idea of how to go about accessing the internet or knowing that their phones can access the internet.
It focuses on bringing local content to the people. Martin Nielsen co-founder of Mdundo noted that there is a large demand for local content in Kenya but the demand is not being met. He stated that if anyone produced content for the mass, they would be received well.
Interent.Org can be accessed via a browser or by downloading the app on Google play store and accessing the sites listed is free provided you have used the web application or through your mobile application, no data charges will be incurred. This is only applicable if you have an Airtel sim card. Airtel came on board for the initiative because of the need to diversify and be relevant.
It was also revealed that having the sites translated to local languages is something Facebook are looking at. This stems from the fact that in Tanzania, translating the Facebook app and other sites to Kiswahili was well received.
Below are some tweets from the event. You can read more on what was said by searching for the hastag #AirtelExp.
— Sam Gichuru (@SamGichuru) November 27, 2014
— TechMoran (@TechMoran) November 27, 2014
— Mwende Ngao (@mwendesusu) November 27, 2014
— Nailab (@thenailab) November 27, 2014