If you wanted to know how much value Facebook sees in the emerging Indian market, this deal certainly provides some indication.
After recent reports that Facebook was looking to acquire a stake in Indian internet provider Jio, The Social Network has now confirmed that it has purchased a majority stake in the Reliance-owned venture for a massive $US5.7 billion.
As explained by Facebook:
“Today we are announcing a $5.7 billion, or INR 43,574 crore, investment in Jio Platforms Limited, part of Reliance Industries Limited, making Facebook its largest minority shareholder. The investment underscores our commitment to India, and our excitement for the dramatic transformation that Jio has spurred in the country.”
Launched just three years ago, Jio has quickly become one of the top internet providers in India, with some 388 million customers in the region. Facebook’s involvement will provide Jio with a whole range of new resources, while the acquisition will provide Facebook with a new way into the Indian market, which it’s been looking to gain a foothold in for many years, with varying levels of success.
Most notable for Facebook will be connection to WhatsApp, the most used messaging app in the nation.
As Facebook notes:
“Over the years, Facebook has invested in India to connect people and help businesses launch and grow. WhatsApp is so ingrained in Indian life that it has become a commonly used verb across many Indian languages and dialects. Facebook brings together friends and families, but moreover, it’s one of the country’s biggest enablers of growth for small businesses. And Instagram has grown dramatically in India in recent years as the place where people follow their interests and passions.”
Facebook will be hoping to use its newfound presence in the local market to fuel more business activity via WhatsApp, and Facebook, which will incorporate broader expansion of Indian eCommerce platforms like Meesho, which Facebook also acquired last year.
India, and its 1.4 billion citizens, is the next key battleground for the tech giants, with both Facebook and Google both working to gain a foothold in the Indian market in order to expand their audience base, provide new business tools, and build revenue-generating partnerships that will facilitate significant opportunities to expand their respective empires.
The developing region is on the cusp of hitting the next stage in tech adoption. India is now the world’s second-largest smartphone market after China, while the number of internet users in the nation is expected to top 850 million by 2022. For comparison, the US is expected to reach around 300 million internet users at the same stage.
Given this, the tech company that can best position itself in the Indian market stands to win out big time as Indian users adapt to how they live and work incorporating online means.
Facebook’s deal for Jio is a massive win in this respect, and while past efforts like its Free Basics program haven’t been welcomed by Indian regulators, it would appear that Facebook has found a new opportunity, which will be a key element in the platform’s growth strategy moving forward.
That will also, eventually, facilitate new opportunities for businesses looking to connect with the Indian market, as Facebook moves to provide more business tools.
Data Use Checkup Rolling Out Broadly to Facebook Platform Developers
Maintaining a safe, thriving developer ecosystem is critical to our mission of giving people the power to build community and bringing the world closer together. Recently, we have made changes to simplify our Platform Terms and Developer Policies so businesses and developers clearly understand their shared responsibility to safeguard data and respect people’s privacy when using our platform and tools.
These changes represent our strengthened commitment to protect people’s privacy and ensure developers have the tools and information they need to continue to use our platform responsibly.
Today, we’re announcing the broad launch of Data Use Checkup, a new annual workflow for Facebook platform developers that we began testing in April. Through Data Use Checkup, developers will be asked to review the permissions they have access to and commit that their API access and data use comply with the Facebook Platform Terms and Developer Policies within 60 days or risk losing their API access.
We are gradually rolling out Data Use Checkup in waves over the coming months. When you are enrolled in Data Use Checkup, you will receive information via a developer alert, an email to the registered contact, and in your Task List within the App Dashboard.
Developers who manage many apps will have the option to complete Data Use Checkup for multiple apps at once. You can access this flow by going to your “My Apps” page in the App Dashboard. From there, you will see all apps for which you are an admin, be able to filter down to a subset, and complete Data Use Checkup in bulk. This process will still require you to review each app you manage and the permissions you have access to and commit that your platform use complies with the Facebook Platform Terms and Developer Policies.
If you are not yet enrolled in Data Use Checkup, these are steps to take to prepare for the process:
- Ensure you can access your app(s) in the App Dashboard. If you are unable to and need to regain admin status, click here.
- Update contact details and app administrator designation for each app within your organization to receive the most up-to-date notifications. Any app admin will be able to complete the Data Use Checkup, so they should be in a position of authority to act on behalf of your organization. You can designate an app administrator within App Dashboard > Roles and update contact information within App Dashboard > Settings > Advanced.
- Audit your apps and remove those that are no longer needed. To remove an app, go to App Dashboard > Settings > Advanced. This will ensure you’re only receiving developer alerts and notifications for apps that you need.
- Review the permissions and features your apps have access to and remove any that are no longer needed in App Dashboard > App Review > My Permissions and Features.
Data Use Checkup is required for developers using many of our products and platforms across the Facebook Family of Apps. If you are developing on Oculus, here are specifics to consider and here is an update for businesses.
We know user privacy is just as important to our developer community as it is to us. Thank you for continuing to partner with us as we build a safer, more sustainable platform.
Welcome to our 2020 Developer Circles Community Challenge
It’s often said that the best way to learn is to become the teacher; that a great way to reinforce a skill or achievement is by sharing it with others.
It’s with this philosophy in mind that I’m pleased to welcome you to this year’s Community Challenge, our annual online hackathon for Developer Circles members – which runs until Monday October 26.
This time around, we’re inviting participants to go a step beyond building software solutions by creating tutorials about the code they’ve created. Winners are eligible to receive up to US$133,000 in cash prizes, Oculus VR headsets and fully credited amplification of their tutorials to millions of other developers across Facebook’s ecosystem.
We’re also broadening the products that competing innovators can build with, now spanning Open Source technologies including Docusaurus, Hack, Pytorch, React and React Native, as well as Messenger, Spark AR and Wit.ai.
Within each of these products, we see enormous opportunity for you and your teammates to connect, learn and build together, all while sharing your journey step-by-step through immersive tutorials for fellow tech enthusiasts.
I invite you to check out all of the guidelines for taking part, and I thought it would also be useful to share some examples that might help bring the challenge to life.
To get you started with a template for crafting impactful tutorials, here’s a framework providing an overview of recommended sections that will be helpful to readers, including some tips and tricks.
To provide general guidance on what a published tutorial looks like, here’s an example I wrote a couple of years ago about a product called Yoga – Facebook’s cross-platform layout engine that helps developers write more layout code. Please note that this particular tutorial is on the lengthier side – remember that your submission only needs to be between 1,000-4,000 words.
To demonstrate a useful step-by-step breakdown of a project, here’s a great tutorial on a smart bookmarking tool, Rust Rocket.
Remember, this is a team challenge, so we recommend dividing and conquering to create your tutorial most efficiently. If you have any tutorial ideas to share with potential teammates, or if you need support with troubleshooting or any questions about the challenge, please post in our Facebook group here.
What makes our Community Challenge so special every year is the many stories of collaboration and innovation we see from all around the world. We can’t wait to discover your story and for our global community to be inspired by your submission.
Good luck – and let’s get building!
Preparing Our Partners for iOS 14
In June, Apple announced iOS 14 updates that, among other changes, require apps to ask users for permission to collect and share data using Apple’s device identifier.
Given the impact the policy will have on businesses’ ability to market themselves and monetize through ads, we’re sharing how we’re addressing iOS 14 changes and providing recommendations to help our partners prepare, while developers await more details on this policy.
First, we will not collect the identifier for advertisers (IDFA) on our own apps on iOS 14 devices. We believe this approach provides as much certainty and stability that we can provide our partners at this time. We may revisit this decision as Apple offers more guidance.
Additionally, we will remind users that they have a choice about how their information is used on Facebook and about our Off-Facebook Activity feature, which allows them to see a summary of the off-Facebook app and website activity businesses send to Facebook and disconnect it from their accounts.
There are a few things our partners should know to prepare for iOS 14. First, we will release an updated version of the Facebook SDK to support iOS 14. The new version of the Facebook SDK will provide support for Apple’s SKAdNetwork API, which limits the data available to businesses for running and measuring campaigns. In light of these limitations, and in an effort to mitigate the impact on the efficacy of app install campaign measurement, we will also ask businesses to create a new ad account dedicated to running app install ad campaigns for iOS 14 users.
We expect these changes will disproportionately affect Audience Network given its heavy dependence on app advertising. Like all ad networks on iOS 14, advertiser ability to accurately target and measure their campaigns on Audience Network will be impacted, and as a result publishers should expect their ability to effectively monetize on Audience Network to decrease. Ultimately, despite our best efforts, Apple’s updates may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14. We expect less impact to our own advertising business, and we’re committed to supporting advertisers and publishers through these updates. Learn more about the impact to Audience Network here.
We believe that industry consultation is critical for changes to platform policies, as these updates have a far-reaching impact on the developer ecosystem. We’re encouraged by conversations and efforts already taking place in the industry – including within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the recently announced Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media (PRAM). We look forward to continuing to engage with these industry groups to get this right for people and small businesses.