Facebook held a workshop in Indonesia to work with developers on making apps more efficient, in line with its Internet.org initiative to boost internet access in the developing world.
It was noted that while more than 85 per cent of the world’s population lives in areas with cellular coverage, only 30 per cent access the internet – “so for most people, the barrier to connectivity isn’t a signal, it’s the ability to afford data”.
With this in mind, developers need to create more data-efficient apps to address this market.
The workshop was supported by infrastructure giant Ericsson and operator XL Axiata. Developers could test apps and measure user experience under local network conditions, and work with engineers from Facebook, Ericsson and XL on optimising performance and efficiency.
Earlier this month, an Internet.org Innovation Challenge was launched in India, which was described as “an effort to recognise those who are working to make the internet more relevant to four populations that are currently under-served in India: women, students, farmers and migrant workers”.
Prizes of $250,000 will be presented to the “app, website, service or idea” which best meets the need of each group (four in total). Two $25,000 prizes will also be awarded in each category.
Winners will be announced at Mobile World Congress in March 2015.