Facebook is reportedly planning to change its company name to reflect its focus on building its ‘metaverse’.
On 19 October, The Verge reported the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about the name change at its annual Connect conference on the 28th.
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However, it could potentially reveal the new name before that.
The tech news outlet received the information from a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
Facebook declined to comment on the story.
The name change would create a better distinction between the parent or holding company and its products or apps, including the Facebook app and its other social media apps WhatsApp and Instagram.
An example of this would be Google’s parent company, Alphabet, created when the tech giant restructured in 2015. The company also owns Waymo and DeepMind.
Why would Facebook want to change its name?
In July, Zuckerberg told the The Verge Facebook would expand beyond social media in the future.
“We will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company,” he said.
The company’s metaverse project aims to build a set of connected social apps. It would also build hardware, such as AR glasses, that supports the apps.
“One of the reasons why we’re investing so much in augmented and virtual reality is mobile phones kind of came around at the same time as Facebook, so we didn’t really get to play a big role in shaping the development of those platforms,” Zuckerberg explained.
“And I think if we can help build the next set of computing platforms and experiences across that in a way that’s more natural and lets us feel more present with people, I think that’ll be a very positive thing.”
The news of the name change comes as Facebook has come under intense fire for its handling of misinformation.
It has also received criticism for how it targets users and displays posts in news feeds.
In September, the company announced it had paused development of an Instagram app aimed at children.
The pause came after the Wall Street Journal exposed internal documents that showed the social media app was harmful to the mental health of underage users.
Featured image: Unsplash/Alex Haney