Amid intense scrutiny over its business practices, Facebook is planning to change the company name to reflect its focus on building the metaverse, reported The Verge.
Chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg, is planning the name change which may be announced at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28, but it can also happen sooner, the website reported.
The rebrand would likely position the Facebook app as one of many products under a parent company overseeing groups such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more.
The speculation does not come as a surprise as in July this year, the CEO told The Verge, “The future of the company would go far beyond its current project of building a set of connected social apps and some hardware to support them. Instead, Facebook would strive to build a maximalist, interconnected set of experiences straight out of sci-fi — a world known as the metaverse.”
This also comes close to the heels of an announcement made by Facebook on Monday. The social media giant had said it plans to create 10,000 new jobs in the European Union over the next five years, to help build metaverse. In September, Facebook committed $50 million towards building the metaverse, where companies such as Roblox Corp and “Fortnite” maker Epic Games have an early foothold, said a report by The Economic Times.
The Rebranding would come at a time when Facebook is under scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers. A former employee turned whistleblower, Frances Haugen, recently shared company documents with regulators and The Wall Street Journal. The documents detailed Facebook’s struggle with moderating its content and alleged deleterious mental-health effects of its photo-sharing app Instagram, reported the Business Standard.
The term metaverse was first coined by Neal Stephenson in his science fiction novel Snow Crash. Reuters defines it as a broad term. It generally refers to shared virtual world environments which people can access via the internet.The term can refer to digital spaces which are made more lifelike by the use of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR). Some people also use the word metaverse to describe gaming worlds, in which users have a character that can walk around and interact with other players.Internet Explorer Channel Network