What if, instead of having a monthly bucket of data that you consume, you instead simply purchased data for specific apps? There’s an app that’s trying to do just that, and Facebook just scooped it up.
The company is called Pryte and, basically, it works to allow data access only for specific apps. So, for example, you love Instagram and you really want to use it while you’re traveling abroad, but you also don’t want to pay exorbitant roaming fees just to upload pictures to your friends and family. Pryte could enable access to Instagram only for a specific amount of time, like three days, or maybe a week, so you’re only paying for the data that specific apps use.
Now Pryte is joining Facebook, and it gives us a bit of a hint toward where Facebook is heading. The use case scenario I mentioned above really only works for travelers who are trying to save a buck in developed markets, but what about in emerging smartphone markets? That’s where Helsinki-based Pryte can be really valuable to Facebook. The social network could essentially charge users a nominal fee to stay in touch with the rest of the world, all directly through Facebook. This could be a huge potential new revenue stream for the social network, which has time and time again said its focus is on mobile.
“Now, we’re joining Facebook, whose mission to connect the world by partnering with operators to bring people online in a profitable way aligns closely with our team’s goals,” Pryte said in a blog post announcing the deal. “e are excited to get started, and make an even greater impact by advancing the work we are doing in collaboration with Facebook’s great team working to further Internet.org’s goal of making affordable internet access available to everyone in the world.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed by Facebook or Pryte.