What was Zuckerberg really after in Kenya?

[SIZE=6]What was Zuckerberg really after in Kenya After India Said a big No! to him[/SIZE]

[SIZE=6][B]Facebook’s interest in Africa is obvious: we are the next billion users who need to be brought onstream. As I recounted recently in my weekly newsletter on the future of business, Facebook has a plan for emerging markets, where not enough people are able to connect to the Internet.

A few days before social media giant Facebook’s chief Mark Zuckerberg visited Nigeria and Kenya, a good friend, one of those totally crazy but wonderful chaps who populate the digital universe, sent me some intriguing material.While, when it comes to online, the focus tends to be the sites users visit most, he did something unusual.

Focusing mostly on Kenya, he tracked the sites on which people most spend their data.The result was both disturbing and eye-opening.

While, for example, Kenyan sites make the top five in the list of online properties its citizens use, when it comes to the platforms on which they use most of their data, not a single one – or African website of any description – made the top six in any the nearly 50 categories his data reported.

One possible conclusion is that if folks had to pay to use various sites, there are hardly any African ones they would pay for.

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This is where Facebook’s plan to provide “affordable” high-speed Internet to rural Africa gets interesting. It was supposed to go live last Sunday, but went up in smoke when the SpaceX rocket carrying the satellite for it exploded at Cape Canaveral in Florida on September 1.

But it was only a temporary setback.

Facebook was the social media site on which Kenyans most used their bandwidth, and its instant messaging app WhatsApp hogged that segment. For Facebook, going by these numbers, investing in Internet for Africa is good business.

But, ironically, because the telcos and ISPs seem to have reached the limit of their appetite when it comes to providing services to remote regions, everyone else will probably piggyback on Facebook’s Internet to grow their digital audience.

However, it seems only logical that this cannot be all. I reached out to an East African who keeps a vigilant eye on these things.

He said his reading was that “Zuckerberg was mostly keen on mobile money.”

Why? His view was that if Facebook and other firms like Google that are looking to offer “free Internet access” to the under-served regions of Africa succeed, the next logical thing would be to move the millions of new users to peer-to-peer platforms, and in the long-term reduce the use of payment solutions like mobile money.

His said it looks like a long shot, but once you can bypass the telcos for voice and data, then you have reached potential to use crypto currencies like Bitcoin.

From India to Kenya and Nigeria

India was not convinced that everything from Silicon Valley is to be embraced gratefully. Facebook has learned a lesson there, and its PR machine was a sight to behold in Kenya and Nigeria: make Mark walk and talk among the locals; eat their food; applaud their enterprise; praise their leaders. It will probably work.

Source: http://www.justkenyan.com/what-was-zuckerberg-really-after-in-kenya-after-india-said-a-big-no-to-him/
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1 Like

Ugly font mharo news. Didn’t read

Free basics in India failed catastrophically, i think he was aiming for the same in Nigeria and Kenya, mark is a clever guy.If safcom had allowed free basics then it would have had a lot of traction.

If they introduce some form of wallet then they’re going to be hit hard by regulators, banks won’t like to lose to a telco and then to social network, telco’s won’t appreciate that either and if you’re running on their infrastructure they can sabotage your activities.

Change is here with us we have to embrace it

Hiyo internet ya Facebook will it be free or will it be much cheaper ?

Just like here in Tz, FreeBasics offers 50MBs worth of internet on Tigo Network and absolutely free on Airtel. But that’s just Facebook.

What is, 50 MBs

Megabytes

hiyo font ni mbovu

Anyway, Mark’s first big impediment will be our leaders who want their cut first. he must be prepared to know that the Kenyan market is a frustrating place