Over the last several weeks, Facebook has been the target of quite a lot of criticism and concern. There was the massive outage that affected it and all of its affiliated services, the damning revelations of its unscrupulous company policies, and those other seemingly endless complaints people have levied. Needless to say, the company is not faring well in the court of public opinion as of late.
Unsurprisingly, the company is looking to do damage control after all of those less-than-ideal events. How exactly will it do that, you might ask? Well, apparently Facebook's parent company decided to change its name, effective immediately. Keep reading for all of the known details as they currently stand.
Facebook revealed the new name for its parent company on Oct. 28, 2021.
According to The Verge, Facebook is looking to change its name to reflect the new metaverse it's building.
What exactly is a metaverse? Well, it's defined by Lexico as "a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users," meaning that Facebook is likely expanding far beyond what users see on a computer or phone screen.
Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the company's new name at Facebook's annual Connect conference, which took place this year on Oct. 28, 2021.
During that conference, Mark revealed that the company's new name would be Meta.
In a statement, per The Verge, the company founder explained: "We are a company that builds technology to connect. Together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy."
Mark also noted that the change is intended to "reflect who we are and what we hope to build," which is an all-encompassing universe of their current and future products. He mentioned that the name Facebook doesn't properly reflect where the company stands currently as it describes only one of their products, maintaining that "over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company."
Why is Facebook changing its name? It's trying to reflect the ever-growing nature of its business.
The new name sees Facebook and its other entities, such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more, join under a renamed umbrella corporation. This move is likened to that of Google, which reincorporated under parent company Alphabet when they established that the company was much more than merely a search engine.
The change may come as a shock to some, but rebranding as Meta isn't the only time that Mark has specifically referenced building a metaverse of their company's offerings. Mark told The Verge back in July 2021 that within the next few years, "We [Facebook] will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company."
Mark further explained that the metaverse is "going to be a big focus, and I think that this is just going to be a big part of the next chapter for the way that the internet evolves after the mobile internet."
He added, "I think it’s going to be the next big chapter for our company too, really doubling down in this area."
Currently, Facebook has more than 10,000 employees working solely in their consumer hardware division. There, the goals are far removed from posting pictures and status updates. That arm of Facebook is focused on building products like augmented reality glasses, which Mark firmly believes will eventually have the same prevalence in society that smartphones do today.
Through this rebranding, Mark is seemingly determined to build the next chapter in Facebook's history and hopefully move beyond the criticisms the company has received as of late. Under the moniker Meta, the company is shedding its global identity as merely a social media company and building into something much deeper and more ingrained in our daily lives than ever before.