Facebook re-brands Internet.org as Free Basics

Facebook has re-branded Internet.org as Free Basics.  A few months ago, Facebook opened up the Internet.org platform to developers after being accused of violating net neutrality rules.

In response, the project has added 60 new services created by third-party developers, including BabyCenter for pregnancy and parenting info and SmartBusiness for novice entrepreneurs.

The app and web platform, providing access to over 250 services, is now live in 19 countries and will be part of the “larger objectives” of Internet.org.

“Today we’re also announcing a new name for the app and mobile website — Free Basics by Facebook. We’re making this change to better distinguish the Internet.org initiative from the programs and services we’re providing, including Free Basics. Anyone currently using the app will be able to continue using the Android app, though it will now be called Free Basics by Facebook in Google Play. And the mobile web version, which will redirect from the previous URL, can be accessed at FreeBasics.com.”

Facebook also said that it is adding support for HTTPS services on the web version as well. It said that even if the service you access only runs over HTTP, it will encrypt that information between company’s servers and any device that supports HTTPS.

Internet.org now offers access to one billion people across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

If you’re a developer interested in submitting your service to be part of the Internet.org Platform, you can learn more on the developer page here.

Facebook are also clarifying the guidelines for developers building for the Platform to make them simpler after listening to feedback — you can see the updated guidelines here.

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