JUST IN: Facebook changes its company name to Meta

0
131

Facebook is changing its company name to reflect its future ambitions and confronts wide-ranging scrutiny of the real-world harms from its various platforms after a whistleblower leaked hundreds of internal documents.

The company will change its name to Meta, effectively demoting Facebook’s namesake service to being just one of the company’s subsidiaries, alongside Instagram and WhatsApp, rather than the overarching brand.

A rebranding could be part of an effort to overhaul Facebook’s reputation and turn the page following a series of PR nightmares, including misinformation on its platforms, content moderation failures and revelations about the negative effect its products have on some users’ mental health.

The name change, which was announced by Mark Zuckerberg during its virtual reality and augmented reality conference Facebook Connect, aligns with its growing focus on the metaverse, which refers to efforts to combine virtual and augmented reality technologies in a new online realm.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about our identity as we begin this next chapter. Facebook is one of the most used products in the history of the world,” Zuckerberg said on Thursday. It is an iconic social media brand, but increasingly it just doesn’t encompass everything that we do.

“Today we’re seen as a social media company,” he added, “but in our DNA, we are a company that builds technology to connect people. And the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started.”

Zuckerberg kicked off a big product event on Thursday by teasing a series of new social, gaming and workplace concepts for the metaverse — and by acknowledging the optics of focusing on such products amid renewed scrutiny of the company.

Mark Zuckerberg’s avatar presenting the metaverse at an event Thursday.

Mark Zuckerberg’s avatar presenting the metaverse at an event Thursday.

“I know that some people will say that this isn’t a time to focus on the future, and I want to acknowledge that there are important issues to work on in the present. There always will be,” Zuckerberg said in a kickoff video ahead of his keynote.

Facebook Comments