Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You're too poor for facebook

Hey, all of you living in the third world? Did you really buy all that crap about the world being a global village? Hah. Fooled you.

It turns out that we only love you if you sound like a good investment or when you someone makes movies about you which make us go "awwwwww".

As today's New York Times points out, the internet is just as democratic as Rwanda.

Web companies that rely on advertising are enjoying some of their most vibrant growth in developing countries. But those are also the same places where it can be the most expensive to operate, since Web companies often need more servers to make content available to parts of the world with limited bandwidth. And in those countries, online display advertising is least likely to translate into results.

Have you heard of the video sharing site called Veoh? Of course you haven't. How can you? In fact, they don't even want you to.

Last year, Veoh, a video-sharing site operated from San Diego, decided to block its service from users in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, citing the dim prospects of making money and the high cost of delivering video there.

“I believe in free, open communications,” Dmitry Shapiro, the company’s chief executive, said. “But these people are so hungry for this content. They sit and they watch and watch and watch. The problem is they are eating up bandwidth, and it’s very difficult to derive revenue from it.”

You bad, hungry people with your thirst for videos of cute dogs and frumpy looking reality TV stars. That's why Veoh gave you a big F.U.

Also, that's the same reason that you can't use Hulu.

And all those sex predators on the Indian edition of MySpace (by the way, that's like our version of Orkut. It's full of perverts and creeps and everyone wants to be your fraaaaand) are going to get a little downgraded.

MySpace — the News Corporation’s social network with 130 million members, about 45 percent of them overseas — is testing a feature for countries with slower Internet connections called Profile Lite. It is a stripped-down version of the site that is less expensive to display because it requires less bandwidth. MySpace says it may make Profile Lite the primary version for its members in India, where it has 760,000 users, although people there could click on a link to switch to the richer version of the site.


Those of you who want to see You Tube videos of old segments of TV shows and funny lip synching Chinese kids, are still okay. As long as you don't mind waiting a few hours for a two minute video.

Tom Pickett, director of online sales and operations at YouTube, says the company still hews to its vision of bringing online video to the entire globe. In the last two years, it has pushed to create local versions of its site in countries like India, Brazil and Poland.

But Mr. Pickett also says that YouTube has slowed the creation of new international hubs and shifted its focus to making money. He says that does not rule out restricting bandwidth in certain countries as a way to control costs — essentially making YouTube a slower, lower-quality viewing experience in the developing world.

Facebook hates you too.

“We can decide, either on a country by country or user by user basis, to engineer the quality of the service for that cohort of users,” said Jonathan Heiliger, the executive who oversees Facebook’s computing infrastructure.

Facebook is in a particularly difficult predicament. Seventy percent of its 200 million members live outside the United States, many in regions that do not contribute much to Facebook’s bottom line. At the same time, the company faces the expensive prospect of storing 850 million photos and eight million videos uploaded to the site each month.


Nothing personal, it's just business.

You know we love you and we'll be back as soon as we discover how to make money from you.

Is that okay?


p.s. Is this why you guys use Bittorrent? Figures.


G said...


Anjana R said...

poor poor.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, It's all about money, honey!

I mean c'mmon why should people, who do not contribute to revenue expect anything - especially when you're talking about these social networking sites and the like - closing which wouldn't make a heck of a negative difference in people's lives... (except of course perverts and the perennial fraands)

I suppose, I'd do the same thing if I owned the internet :) he he

RukmaniRam said...

sad. especially since its the desis in the us who take up most of the bandwidth.

Over Rated said...

@G, @Anjana: :D ....

@Rakesh: I know that!! I was just making fun of the belief that some people (mainly me) the internet had actually changed things and put everyone on an equal footing. As ABBA once said, "It's a rich man's world!" still holds true".

Although, I would do the same too. :P ...

@RR: Haha!! Actually, it's more than just the overseas desi's!!