Short Bytes: Facebook has rebranded its internet.org initiative as Free Basics by Facebook. The company is also rolling out a program called Express WiFi to provide affordable internet access to people in India.
Along the similar lines, the company has renamed its controversial Internet.org app as Free Basics. With the help of its app, Facebook aims to provide certain free data services and websites to the mobile users.
A few months ago, amid widespread controversies, Facebook opened up the Internet.org platform to the developers. Currently, this moonshot project of Zuckerberg includes 60 new services focussed at productivity.
The new app Free Basics by Facebook is also equipped with stronger security measures and aims to get more users online all over the world.
“We’re making this change to better distinguish the Internet.org initiative from the programmes and services that Facebook provides, including Free Basics,” says Internet.org Vice-President Chris Daniels.
He adds, “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.”
The previous Internet.org web URL is now redirected to Freebasics.com.
In India, the social networking website is also piloting Express WiFi service that will encourage the local entrepreneurs to set up WiFi hotspots in various areas.
“We help them in terms of technical solutions, business model and marketing,” said Munish Seth, Country Manager Facebook Connectivity Solutions India. Facebook has already set up such hotspots in partnership with ISPs in parts of Uttarakhand and Bangalore.
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