The debate that swirled around net neutrality, the web-oriented argument over whether or not internet service providers could have the ability to boost or slow the speed of content providers for extra fees or due to disagreements over content, has been little more than a quiet buzz as of late. However, Facebook has been looking for a way to reverse-engineer that process, changing the content users receive based on their internet speed, instead of changing someone's internet speed based on their content.
Thanks to a new technology Facebook calls the “Creative Accelerator Program”, and a recent initiative by the company to change how it reaches out to users in developing countries, Facebook can make sure users are seeing advertisements that their devices can actually view and run.
Facebook currently serves approximately 1.44 billion users, according to the Verge, but millions of these users are living in countries like India, Indonesia, and Kenya where internet use is high, but infrastructure lags behind the capabilities of major European nations and the United States. Primitive smartphones coupled with out-dated 3G and 2G network connections simply cannot handle many of the ads companies are making for an increasingly mobile western world, meaning those companies are now missing millions of users in developing countries.
So far, Facebook has partnered with Coca-Cola, Nestlé, condom-maker Durex and soap-maker Lifebuoy to create content which can be viewed on any internet-capable device. Based on what you're using, an ad may feature a video or detailed graphic, or if you're service is slow, maybe just a simple image with text.
While Facebook has been heavily-criticized by net neutrality activists for Internet.org, the giant's other foray to help bring developing countries into the development age, the Creative Accelerator is reportedly unrelated to the other project and has faced little backlash or resistance.