Facebook has announced that it is changing its name to “metaverse” as it battles a wide-ranging scrutiny of the real-world harms from its various platforms after a whistleblower leaked hundreds of internal documents.
This was made known on Thursday by its founder Mark Zuckerberg during the company’s virtual reality and augmented reality conference Facebook Connect, who said the change is to make facebook (the social media platForm) as a just one of the company’s subsidiaries, alongside Instagram and WhatsApp, rather than the overarching brand.
According to CNN, the PR nightmare, including misinformation on its platforms, content moderation failures and revelations about the negative effect its products have on some users’ mental health, could have resulted to Facebook’s decision to rebrand.
Zuckerberg said, “I’ve been thinking a lot about our identity as we begin this next chapter. Facebook is one of the most used products in the history of me world.”
“It is an iconic social media brand, but increasingly it just doesn’t encompass everything that we do.
“Today we’re seen as a social media company,” he added. “but in our DNA. we are a company that builds technology to connect people. And the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started.”
Speaking about the future of the organization, Zuckerberg said, “Your devices won’t be the focal point of your attention anymore,” he said. “We’re starting to see a lot of these technologies coming together in the next five or 10 years. A lot of this is going to be mainstream and a lot of us will be creating and inhabiting worlds that are just as detailed and convincing as this one, on a daily basis.”
He added that, “We live for what we’re building,” Zuckerberg added. “And while we make mistakes, we keep learning and building and moving forward.”
Meanwhile, the company formerly known as Facebook also said in a press release that it plans to begin trading under the stock ticker “MV1RS” on December 1.