The Verge reports that social media giant, Facebook is going to change its company name as early as next week. The effort is inspired by choosing a name that reflects its focus on building the metaverse. According to people familiar with the matter, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will discuss the name change at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28, 2021.
Metaverse means a virtual reality space that allows users to interact with other users in a computer-generated environment. Recently, this term was widely used during the Epic Games vs. Apple case. Epic referred to Fortnite as a metaverse and Roblox is also introducing features to create one. Now Facebook wants to be known for more than just a social media company. Therefore, it is planning to rebrand to represent all of its efforts in creating a metaverse.
Facebook to place all social media apps and products under a new umbrella company name
As per the rebranding plan, the Facebook app, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and other sub-companies will be placed under and managed by a parent company. The parent company will venture into hardware products as well; Facebook is developing AR glasses and has hired more than 10,000 employees for the project and it also launched a $299 Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses without AR functionality.
In an interview with The Verge, CEO Zuckerberg said that “we will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company. However, the report mentions that there might be an ulterior motive behind the rebranding of the company.
A rebrand could also serve to further separate the futuristic work Zuckerberg is focused on from the intense scrutiny Facebook is currently under for the way its social platform operates today. A former employee turned whistleblower, Frances Haugen, recently leaked a trove of damning internal documents to The Wall Street Journal andtestified about them before Congress. Antitrust regulators in the US and elsewhere are trying to break the company up, and public trust in how Facebook does business is falling.
Over anti-competitive allegations, legislators are pushing to break up the Facebook company and make its acquired WhatsApp and Instagram companies independent.