Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday announced the parent company’s name is being changed to “Meta” to represent a future beyond just its troubled social network.
The new handle comes as the social media giant tries to fend off one its worst crises yet and pivot to its ambitions for the “metaverse” virtual reality version of the internet that the tech giant sees as the future.
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp will keep their names under the rebranding.
“We’ve learned a lot from struggling with social issues and living under closed platforms, and now it is time to take everything that we’ve learned and help build the next chapter,” Zuckerberg said during an annual developers conference.
“I am proud to announce that starting today, our company is now Meta. Our mission remains the same, still about bringing people together, our apps and their brands, they’re not changing,” he added.
Facebook critics pounced last week on a report that leaked the rebranding plans, arguing the company was aiming to distract from recent scandals and controversy.
An activist group calling itself The Real Facebook Oversight Board has warned that major industries like oil and tobacco had rebranded to “deflect attention” from their problems.
“Facebook thinks that a rebrand can help them change the subject,” the group said last week, adding the “real issue” was the need for oversight and regulation.
Facebook has just announced plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to build the “metaverse,” with Zuckerberg emerging as a leading promoter of the concept.