Armed with more services and stronger security measures, the re-branding 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 days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit Facebook's campus in California on September 27.

"We're making this change to better distinguish the initiative from the programs and services that Facebook provides, 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," Vice-President Chris Daniels told.

He added that more than one billion people have access to's free basic services across Asia, Africa and Latin America today.

Launched last year, the program has more than a dozen mobile operators on board across 17 countries offering basic Internet services without data charges to over a billion people. The program aims to provide people with access to free basic services through to help them discover the value of the Internet.

India has over 8 lakh users of the initiative that has been in the thick of the Net neutrality debate. As part of the global initiative, Facebook had partnered with telecom major Reliance Communications to offer free access to over 30 Websites without data charges to users in India.

In May, Facebook had also announced an open programme for developers to create services that integrate with

With Free Basics, is also "making it safer" for people to connect to the Websites and services by encrypting information wherever possible.