It came as a shock to me when some youth in Uganda attacked me on Facebook for articles I was sharing saying I was making up lies about their beloved president.
Something did not seem right because all the articles I share, I put the link to the original source or if it is written by me, I put my contact information.
Imagine my shock when someone told me they use FBzero and cannot open links. I had never heard of such a thing? Facebook is Internet and when you are on the Internet, you should be able to click on links and go to the source.
What a learning curve! MTN, Airtel, Orange (now Africell) have an app for the cheap phones in Uganda that costs no data at all and they access only Facebook for free.
I found this one amazing. Can you believe it? Free access…I was besides myself with happiness. So then I realised that when you know your audience and how they access and use information, you can work towards getting them what they need.
FBzero is very powerful. For one thing, Ugandans are impoverished and we should not expect them to buy data to access information. To this effect, those who really want to help Uganda need to keep this in mind.
All the information you want Ugandans to access should be provided for the audience of FBzero users and those who are lucky enough to have full access to the Internet. I generally provide full text of articles but include a link on the bottom for the ones who can use it to verify the source.
What FBzero users also have to understand is the global forums are mostly used for information sharing, learning, informing yourself, asking for help, finding potential business partners, finding funders or donors and making new friends. Forget about the old days of Penpal. It is all now online. Do not use your kabiriti to abuse people, read one paragraph of a post and trash it or even simply use it to FBchat for no reason at all. “hi swiri” is not a reason to hit someone on Social Media.
Thank your government for allowing this app to be on your phones (oh my, it could be taken away anytime, has happened before) so do use it responsibly. In reality, you should thank Facebook Inc. for making this app available!
Ugandan businesses can exploit FBzero for marketing and growing market share. Or advertising their promotions and even communicating the advantages of one buying their product or services. KNOW your clients, customers, consumers AND work for them. You need their business!
Martha Leah Nangalama
I have an IT and business background and live in a country which provides unlimited internet.