Digital Interes-things

I almost never talk about digital in this blog because in real life, digital is what I do. 

Most days and nights, I pore over statistics, analytics, trends, innovations, digital architecture and some days, even social care and consumer affairs, too. This little blog was my escape from all that, albeit it being on a digital medium.

Other than my favorite apps, this is the first time I'm talking about some things I like about the state of the Philippine Internet today.The other day, MVP, or Manny Pangilinan announced that Smart Prepaid subscribers {roughly 66M} get to access the internet for free, and in a nutshell, for a limit of 30 MB. Basically, a subscriber can just text a code to a number and avail of the free service for a day up to said limit. "

Pre-paid subscribers of the 3 mobile networks can now search Google, Wikipedia; use Google Maps and Waze for navigation; shop on Amazon, eBay, Lazada, Zalora; browse Instagram; and reserve taxi via Grab Taxi or Easy Taxi."

What it means for the Filipinos:

Free internet, when used accordingly, can mean a smarter generation, access to Internet for people of DE classes {which is majority of the Philippines, BTW, according to Nielsen}. This means that people working in factories, warehouses, salons and basically any job that isn't in front of a computer {as most of us are} can now access reading materials and communications with their families and friends. It opens up an opportunity lying there --- democratizes a privilege only a few of us had.

For so long now, I had been thinking of how people living in rural places could access internet, as most of them only had feature phones {this would be non smart phones but has GPRS service, think old school Nokia} or no mobile phones at all. Internet penetration in the Philippines remains at 38M and Facebook is at 37M out of 102 million Filipinos. When I began being immersed in the world of Filipinos outside of Metro Manila, I began to see how different life really was. Their lives didn't revolve around Facebook and Twitter and what happened to the Bench fashion show, for instance. I realized that there was so much in the country we're missing out and no, what's on our feeds is not necessarily a reflection of what the country thinks. As I found out, even the music majority of the Filipinos care about are not even what went viral on our news feeds. In some of my researches, I discovered artists that they only knew and searched for on YouTube to listen to again and again but never make it to the sponsored parts and amplified parts of media because it only revolves in the same network.

In response to the free Internet campaign of Smart, Globe revives free Facebook access for Globe subscribers {roughly 38M}. This is a very Globe move --- from my POV, the brand is always doing rather cool things like bringing Spotify to the country and doing that Marlon Stockinger thing. How people use Facebook would be the basis if it's a good thing. I know that some stuff are brewing for Globe as well to make the connections faster and better but needs the cooperation of other telcos, too. So we'll see about that.

On the issue of service going bad when it's free: I can only claim something I've experienced and it's this: when I turned off the unlimited part of my Globe plan {which I wrote about here}, the service actually got much better. My Smart prepaid line though slowed down, and I'm guessing because it's not new anymore. Still, it's not so bad now. We'll see if it gets down to the bottom with the traffic in their network this coming months. I honestly don't mind paying for more as long as my service is always fast and stable. So that's what I do :P

What I think about it:

I am no journalist and everything I am saying here is my own opinion and learning from practicing digital marketing for almost seven years now. I am glad things are looking up for the digital world. The country needs to be a little more digitally capable, we need more ways to access education, we need to turn a lot of our situations 180 degrees. I've always believed that the Internet is the way to that. I am after all, a student of the Internet. Maybe the telco wars is not the best way to go about it but if the Filipino benefits from it all, then so be it.

In other news: I was tinkering with this campaign from Google, called Google Mo Lang. It's pretty long and winding but kinda cool. I'm still waiting for the a-ha moment though :P

And an honorable mention goes to this Nestle video of cutie pies :) 

THERE! :) I can't believe I actually rambled about work but I do hope you got something out of my semi long post :P If you have thoughts about this topic, do reach out to me. I love talking about digital!

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