The Verge reported on Tuesday that Facebook Inc, which has been criticised by regulators and lawmakers for its business methods, is going to rename itself with a new name that focuses on the metaverse.
According to The Verge, which cited a source with intimate knowledge of the situation, the name change will be announced next week.
According to the source, the plan would likely portray the flagship app as one of several products under a parent business that oversees brands like Instagram and WhatsApp. When Google reorganised into an Alphabet holding company in 2015, it adopted this structure.
Facebook said it does not comment on “rumor or speculation.”
Since July, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been promoting the metaverse, a digital world in which people can move between devices and communicate in a virtual environment, and the company has heavily invested in virtual reality and augmented reality, developing hardware like its Oculus VR headsets and working on AR glasses and wristband technologies.
The buzzword, which was first used in a dystopian novel three decades ago, is popular in Silicon Valley and has been used by companies like Microsoft. Roblox, a popular children’s game, calls itself a metaverse corporation. Fortnite from Epic Games is also considered a part of the metaverse.
According to the Verge, Zuckerberg plans to discuss the name change during the company’s annual Connect conference on Oct. 28, although it might be revealed sooner.
The move would come at a time when Facebook is facing a barrage of questions from lawmakers and regulators around the world about its content moderation practises and the harms associated with its platforms, with internal documents leaked by a whistleblower forming the basis for a Senate hearing last week.