The name change was announced at the Facebook Connect augmented and virtual reality conference. The new name reflects the company’s growing ambitions beyond social media. Facebook, now known as Meta, has adopted the new moniker, based on the sci-fi term metaverse, to describe its vision for working and playing in a virtual world.
Announcing @Meta — the Facebook company’s new name. Meta is helping to build the metaverse, a place where we’ll pla… https://t.co/KmspSq8OTx
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“Today we are seen as a social media company, 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,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.
The company also said in announcing the new name that it will change its stock ticker from FB to MVRS, effective December 1. Facebook app will still be called Facebook.
Facebook app will still be called Facebook. Learn more about @Meta’s vision for the future of social connection and… https://t.co/Da35OZRieI
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The rebrand is part of the company’s efforts to shift gears away from being known as just a social media company and focus on Zuckerberg’s plans for building the metaverse. Over the next several years, Facebook would “effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”
The term “metaverse” is the latest buzzword to capture the tech industry’s imagination – so much so that one of the best-known internet platform is rebranding to signal its embrace of the futuristic idea.
Think of metaverse as the internet brought to life, or at least rendered in 3D. Zuckerberg has described it as a “virtual environment” you can go inside of — instead of just looking at on a screen. Essentially, it’s a world of endless, interconnected virtual communities where people can meet, work and play, using virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps or other devices.
Things like go to a virtual concert, take a trip online, view or create artwork and try on or buy digital clothing.
The metaverse also could be a game-changer for the work-from-home shift amid the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of seeing co-workers on a video call grid, employees could join them in a virtual office.
The name change announcement comes just weeks after a company whistleblower, Frances Haugen, testified before lawmakers, alleging blatant disregard from Facebook executives when they learned their platform could have harmful effects on democracy and the mental health of young people.
Facebook is currently under scanner for the following reasons:
Contributing to US Capitol riots
Promoting hate speech in India
Facebook knew harmful effects of Instagram on teens and kids, and turned blind eye to it.