Creating End User Value Often Requires Treating "Internet Apps" Unequally

Twitter has crafted a new partnership with Indonesia’s Indosat, to streamline the signup process for new users who want to receive World Cup-related tweets.

The arrangement is the first of its kind in Asia-Pacific and one of several that are being rolled out during the World Cup in emerging markets like Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ghana and Latin America.

Under the arrangement with Indosat, which has some 59.7 million mobile subscribers, users can type in a code or visit a URL using their Android or iOS phones.

Users are then allowed to create a new account, pick their favorite World Cup team and select a corresponding profile image. They can then chose various specialized accounts to follow, such as World Cup players.

Business terms are unknown, but the deal does raise the issue of how innovative features that provide value to end users can be created without some exclusivity, uniqueness or ease of use features that are not available to all apps.

That sort of uniqueness, some might argue, does not “treat all apps” equally. More and more of these sorts of features are bound to be created. Each might indicate some of the real-world objections to the concept that “treating all apps equally” is a logically sound way to frame the network neutrality debate.
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