Facebook Plans to Change its Company Name: Report

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Facebook plans to change its company name next week to reflect its focus on building the metaverse, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter. Mark Zuckerberg wants to be known for building the metaverse.

Facebook plans to change its company name next week to reflect its focus on building the metaverse, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter. The upcoming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to speak about at the company's annual Connect conference on Oct. 28 but could be revealed sooner, is meant to signal the tech giant's ambition to be known for more than social media. and all the evils that come with it. . The rebrand would likely position Facebook's blue app as one of many products from a parent company that oversees groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on this story.

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 move from people seeing us primarily as a social media company to being a metaverse company."

A rebrand could also serve to further separate the futuristic work that Zuckerberg is focusing on from the intense scrutiny that Facebook is currently under for the way it operates its social platform today. A former employee-turned-whistleblower, Frances Haugen, recently leaked a trove of convicting internal documents to The Wall Street Journal and testified about them before Congress. Antitrust regulators in the US and elsewhere are trying to divide the company, and public confidence in the way Facebook does business is falling.

Facebook isn't the first known tech company to change its business name as its ambitions expand. In 2015, Google completely reorganized itself under a holding company called Alphabet, in part to indicate that it was no longer just a search engine, but a sprawling conglomerate with companies making driverless cars and healthcare technology. And Snapchat changed its name to Snap Inc. in 2016, the same year it began calling itself a "camera company" and debuted its first pair of Spectacles camera glasses.

I have been told that Facebook's new company name is a closely guarded secret within its walls and is not widely known, even among its top managers. A possible name could have something to do with Horizon, the name of the still-unreleased virtual reality version of Facebook-meets-Roblox that the company has been developing for the past few years. That app's name was recently changed to Horizon Worlds shortly after Facebook demoed a version for workplace collaboration called Horizon Workrooms.

Zuckerberg's comments aside, Facebook has been constantly laying the groundwork for a greater focus on the next generation of technology. Last summer he created a dedicated metaverse team. Most recently, it announced that AR and VR chief Andrew Bosworth will be promoted to chief technology officer. And just a couple of days ago, Facebook announced plans to hire 10,000 more employees to work on the metaverse in Europe.

The metaverse "going to be a big focus, and I think that this is just going to be a big part of the next chapter for the way that the internet evolves after the mobile internet," Zuckerberg told Casey Newton of The Verge this summer. "And I think it's going to be the next big chapter for our company too, really doubling down in this area."

To complicate matters, while Facebook has been heavily promoting the metaverse idea in recent weeks, it is still not a widely understood concept. The term was originally coined by science fiction novelist Neal Stephenson to describe a virtual world to which people escape from a dystopian real world. Now it's being adopted by one of the largest and most controversial companies in the world, and it will have to explain why it is worth immersing itself in its own virtual world.

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