- Facebook is planning to rebrand with a new name to signify its focus on building the metaverse.
- The metaverse is a term coined by sci-fi novelist Neal Stephenson to describe a virtual world used as an escape from the real world.
- CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously said that they are transitioning from “primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”
Facebook is most likely heading for a rebrand and a new name to show its greater focus on building the metaverse, The Verge reported, citing a source with direct knowledge on the matter.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has recently been promoting the idea of the metaverse, but it’s a concept that is not yet entirely world-renowned. Sci-fi novelist Neal Stephenson originally coined the term as a way to describe a virtual world used as an escape from the real world.
Zuckerberg will reportedly discuss it at the company’s upcoming annual Connect conference on October 28th.
Back in July, he told The Verge that they are gradually transitioning from “primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”
Facebook could soon be placed under a newly named parent company, which will also oversee Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus, among many others.
Critics also see the rebrand as a possible way to distract from the scrutiny that Facebook has been having for its social media platform operations.
Recently, former employee Frances Haugen leaked damning internal documents to The Wall Street Journal and testified about them before Congress. Public trust in Facebook is also declining while antitrust regulators and lawmakers are trying to break up the tech giant.
Other tech giants have rebranded before. Google reorganized under the Alphabet holding company in 2015, signifying their expansion into other industries such as health tech. Snapchat also rebranded to Snap Inc. and showcased their Spectacles camera glasses in 2016, to symbolize their new focus as a “camera company.”
Facebook’s new name is still a secret, however. Many speculate that it may be linked to Horizon, their yet-to-be-released VR version of Facebook-meets-Roblox. The company renamed the app to Horizon Worlds after a demo of a workplace collaboration version called Horizon Workrooms.
The company has already put together a dedicated metaverse team this summer, and is gradually building up its focus on the next generation of technology. It has also started building other hardware, such as AR glasses. Their head of AR and VR, Andrew Bosworth, is due for a promotion to chief technology officer, while ten thousand more employees will be hired to work on the metaverse in Europe.
This summer, Zuckerberg told The Verge’s Casey Newton that the metaverse will “be a big part of the next chapter for the way that the internet evolves after the mobile internet. And I think it’s going to be the next big chapter for our company too, really doubling down in this area.”
Source: The Verge