|Is there space left on World Wide Web for start-ups?|
How zero rating affects start-ups
Subsidized access makes the already popular apps more popular and leaves less room for start-ups to get their share of the market. To get in on the action, tech start-ups have to include the widely held social media streams as part of their marketing plan or simply lose out on a chunk of the market. Social media areas like Facebook are closed off versions of the Internet, not just social tools. You can shop, play games, gather information and do marketing - all in one area. In a MerchantCircle survey it was discovered that 65.7% of businesses use Facebook as a marketing tool. Think of a bag of popcorn in the microwave, the kernels slowly start popping up one by one and then it all goes crazy. Just like that Facebook users started popping up all over, and fast. The difference is that Facebook is an apparently never-ending bag of popcorn and its explosive personal user-base is closely followed by its business user-base.
What is a start-up to do?
The solution is clearly for businesses to get their Facebook profiles up there; start groups, join groups, Tweet, stream, Pin etc.
Unfortunately there is one problem with this, choice. Most start-ups would like to reserve the right to freedom of choice, and rightly so. It has become such an issue that the Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones of Chile made a ruling that zero rating was in violation with net neutrality laws and banned it as of June 2014. Not many countries take the stance that Chile has and social media subscription rates continue to skyrocket. Whether mobile providers will take a step back and stop the trend of subsidized access, only time will tell. Until then, hopefully there still is a space on the World Wide Web for start-ups.