The CEO and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has on Thursday announced the parent company’s name is being changed to “Meta” to represent the next phase of the evolution of social connection.
Even though the change is peddled by Facebook as a nod towards the company’s growing ambition, the re-branding also comes as the social media giants struggle to deal with potentially incriminating reports stemming from whistleblower Frances Haugen’s leak of internal documents. That aside, Zuckerberg is saying that Facebook changes its name in an attempt to reposition the company for the “next chapter.”
“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. 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 said at the company’s annual Connect conference.
As Zuckerberg mentioned even as the parent company Facebook changes its name, social media services Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp will keep their names under the rebranding.
According to reports, Facebook (now Meta) has invested $10bn in its metaverse project in 2021. In its recent earnings reports on Monday, the company also announced that its virtual reality segment had grown so substantially it would now report its revenue separately, dividing its products into two categories. Those categories include a “family of apps”– Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, and the “reality labs” products including Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and all related hardware.
The Facebook founder is hoping that as Facebook changes its name to Meta, it will allow the company to communicate its new direction: the metaverse. The metaverse, according to Zuck, will allow people to interact with the world in new ways. Zuckerberg believes that the project will be the successor to the mobile internet. “We’ll be able to feel present – like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are. We’ll be able to express ourselves in new joyful, completely immersive ways,” he said.