Facebook 'plans to change its name' in major rebrand

Asia's Tech News Daily

The social media giant has invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality – PA

Facebook is planning to rebrand itself with a new name next week, according to a report in the US.

Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about the name change at the company's annual Connect conference on Oct 28, but it could be unveiled sooner, the Verge reported on Tuesday.

The rebranding would position Facebook's social media app as one of many products under a parent company, which will also oversee groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and more, the technology blog said.

In response, Facebook said it does not comment on “rumour or speculation”.

The news comes at a time when the social media giant is facing increasing US government scrutiny over its business practices.

US lawmakers have excoriated the company, illustrating the rising anger in Congress with Facebook.

It is not uncommon in the Silicon Valley for companies to change their names as they bid to expand their services.

Google established Alphabet Inc as a holding company in 2015 to expand beyond its search and advertising businesses, to oversee various other ventures ranging from its autonomous vehicle unit and health technology to providing internet services in remote areas.

Mark Zuckerberg has come under huge pressure from US lawmakers over Facebook’s business practices – GETTY IMAGES

The move to rebrand will also reflect Facebook's focus on building the so-called “metaverse”, an online world in which people can use different devices to move and communicate in a virtual environment, according to the report.

Facebook has invested heavily in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and intends to connect its nearly 3 billion users through several devices and apps.

On Tuesday, it announced plans to create 10,000 jobs in the European Union over the next five years to help build this metaverse.

Mr Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, has been talking up the metaverse since July and the buzzword, first coined in a dystopian novel three decades earlier, has been referenced by other tech firms such as Microsoft.

The Verge report said a possible name for the company could have something to do with Horizon. Recently, Facebook renamed its in-development VR gaming platform from 'Horizon,' to 'Horizon Worlds'.

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