Continuing its push on the Free Basics initiative, Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg highlights the importance of connectivity through a digital video. The video starts with his speech stating, "We believe that connectivity is a human right and getting connectivity for the world is one of the fundamental challenges of our generation."
The minute-long video is cleverly interspersed with shots of people across the country. Zuckerberg's speech goes back and forth with images from both cities, as well as from rural India. The video features youngsters, school kids, and those from rural India using smartphones.
"Connectivity allows users to get closer to people we care about, get access to new jobs, opportunities, and ideas. We can receive education, healthcare, communication and access to new services," he asserts.
Zuckerberg disagrees that connectivity is a privilege only for the rich and powerful. According to him, connectivity provides opportunity for everyone, and therefore, builds the case for Free Basic Internet Services.
The video uploaded on Internet.org (now Free Basic Internet) a YouTube channel, on December 22, has garnered 1.7 million as of Tuesday evening.
Facebook has been facing heat from the digital fraternity since the launch of its Free Basics initiative in India in February this year. Globally, Free Basics was launched two years ago.
However, through Free Basics, only Facebook's partner websites and applications can be accessed. This has irked advocates of net neutrality, who have spoken out against the initiative across Twitter and other public forums online.
In response to this backlash, Facebook began promoting Free Basics even more aggressively through highly visible print and outdoor ads. Titled Save the Free Basics, the campaign managed to grab a lot of eyeballs.
Facebook launched the Free Basics initiative in India in February this year by partnering with Reliance Communications. The telecom major offered the Free Basics service through a 'Freenet' button on mobile phones.