Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday at the company’s Connect event that the social media platform’s new name will be Meta, Trend reports citing The Verge.
“We are a company that builds technology to connect,” Zuckerberg said. “Together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy.”
“To reflect who we are and what we hope to build,” he added.
He said the name Facebook doesn’t fully encompass everything the company does. “Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product,” he said. “But over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company.”
As The Verge first reported on October 19th, the rebrand is part of the company’s efforts to shift gears away from being known as just a social media company to focus on Zuckerberg’s plans for building the metaverse. In July, he told The Verge that over the next several years, Facebook would “effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”
Facebook has been under intense scrutiny over the past several weeks, after revelations based on damning internal documents provided to the Wall Street Journal by whistleblower Frances Haugen showed, among other things, that Facebook’s Instagram platform had become a toxic place for teenagers, especially girls. And antitrust regulators are pushing for the company to be broken up, as public trust in the social media platform is flagging.
On Monday, multiple news outlets published further details of the internal documents disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission and provided to Congress in redacted form. They showed the deep concern among Facebook’s researchers that its user base was aging, and the platform was losing traction among younger generations. The documents also showed Facebook had a tiered system to prioritize which countries would receive enhanced protections around elections.
Early speculation focused on a change similar to Google’s 2015 rebrand when it announced it would become one of several companies under the umbrella of a larger holding company called Alphabet. For Facebook, the original “blue” app would join Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus under a parent company.