Facebook is planning to change its company name next week to reflect a new focus, as reported by The Verge. The coming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th, is meant to signal the tech giant’s ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail.
According to The Verge report, the rebrand would likely position the blue Facebook app as one of many products under a parent company overseeing groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more.
Facebook already has more than 10,000 employees building consumer hardware like AR glasses that Zuckerberg believes will eventually be as ubiquitous as smartphones. In July, he told The Verge that, over the next several years, “we will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a meta-verse company.”
A Metaverse is defined as a broad term. It generally refers to shared virtual world environments which people can access via the internet. The term can refer to digital spaces which are made more lifelike by the use of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).
The social media giant has described its metaverse project as a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences that make use of virtual and augmented reality
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
Facebook isn’t the first well-known tech company to change its company name as its ambitions expand. In 2015, Google reorganized entirely under a holding company called Alphabet, partly to signal that it was no longer just a search engine, but a sprawling conglomerate with companies making driverless cars and health tech. And Snapchat rebranded to Snap Inc. in 2016, the same year it started calling itself a “camera company” and debuted its first pair of Spectacles camera glasses.