Let us be clear: Facebook does not participate in sponsored data or zero rating programs. Its Free Basics program does not involve any financial transfers from Facebook or its apps to Internet services providers, nor do ISPs pay anything to Facebook.
Clients like LINE pay Jana to get their apps in front of users who spend more than ten minutes a day on WhatsApp, for example.
The idea is not new. Entrepreneurs have tried to launch various ad-supported services for decades. Jana might be succeeding because of its ability to use billing systems more affordably than ever before, and because it can mine data better, at low cost.
Think of the issue with micropayments. Generally speaking, it has been difficult to sell products at cents when billing costs represent dollars of cost.
The same problem holds for rewards of usage that are relatively limited, when the cost of authorizing and then fulfilling a specific transaction is not very low.