Social networking giant Facebook is rebranding its Internet.org programme, which was in the midst of a controversy over alleged violation of Net neutrality, to ‘Free Basics’. Armed with more services and stronger security measures, the rebranding will help Facebook distinguish the free basic Internet offering from the large number of activities the US-based company is pursuing, to help get new users online across the globe. The announcement comes just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit Facebook’s campus in California on September 27.
A few months ago, Facebook opened up the Internet.org platform to developers after being accused of violating net neutrality rules, mostly by users in India. Now, Zuckerberg’s project has added 60 new services created by third-party developers, including BabyCenter for pregnancy and parenting info and SmartBusiness for novice entrepreneurs. Since it has undergone quite an overhaul, it has also been renamed to “Free Basics by Facebook” to distinguish it from the larger initiative.
The revamped website comes with a menu where its users in Asia, Africa and Latin America can choose which services to activate and access. In addition, the new mobile website — now Internet.org platform page on Facebook.instead of — supports HTTPS just like the Android app does. Note that the platform is still open to developers, and those interested in helping out can get all the details from the