Facebook Inc has changed its name to Meta, the firm announced on Thursday, in a rebranding that emphasises the creation of the “metaverse,” a shared virtual world that the company believes will succeed the mobile internet.
The name change comes as the world’s largest social media business under legislative and regulatory scrutiny over its market power, algorithmic judgments, and policing of abuses on its platforms.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the new name reflected the company’s work investing in the metaverse, rather than its eponymous social media site, which will continue to be called Facebook, during a live-streamed virtual and augmented reality conference.
The word “metaverse” was invented three decades ago in the dystopian novel “Snow Crash,” and it is now generating buzz in Silicon Valley. It refers to the concept of a shared virtual reality that may be accessed via a variety of devices.
“Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can`t possibly represent everything that we`re doing today, let alone in the future,” said Zuckerberg.
The company, which has made significant investments in augmented and virtual reality, claims that the transition would unify its various apps and technology under one unified brand. It stated that its corporate structure would not be altered.
The tech behemoth, which has 2.9 billion monthly users, has been under increased scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators around the world in recent years.
In the most recent controversy, former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen disclosed information that she claimed indicated the business prioritised profit over user safety. In recent weeks, Haugen has testified before a Senate subcommittee in the United States and parliamentarians in the United Kingdom’s Parliament.
The records, according to Zuckerberg, are being exploited to construct a “false picture.”
In a blog post, the company stated that it plans to begin trading on December 1 under the new stock ticker it has designated, MVRS. It unveiled a new sign at its Menlo Park, California, headquarters on Thursday, replacing its thumbs-up “Like” emblem with a blue infinity form.
Facebook shares closed 1.5% higher at $316.92 on Thursday.