Facebook is planning 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.
Facebook’s founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, is preparing to talk about the name change at a company event next week, but it could be unveiled sooner, reported the Verge, a US tech news website.
The coming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th, but could unveil sooner, is meant to signal the tech giant’s ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail. The rebrand would likely position the blue Facebook app as one of many products under a parent company overseeing groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more. A spokesperson for Facebook 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 transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”
Under the plans, Facebook would change the name of its holding company but not that of its eponymous social media platform, known internally as the “big blue app”. As well as its founding site, the company also owns Instagram, WhatsApp and the virtual reality brand Oculus.
The Verge reported that the new name for the holding company could be linked to Horizon, a word used in at least two virtual reality products that the company is developing. Zuckerberg launched his company as TheFacebook 17 years ago.
In a statement, Facebook said it “doesn’t comment on rumour or speculation”.
Some Twitter users took a dig at Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, amid increasing scrutiny of its business practices, while others offered suggestions on what Facebook’s new name could be.
Twitter users came up with name suggestions for a rebranded Facebook when a tech entrepreneur asked them to give “wrong” names only.
While one user suggested “Surveillance Capitalism”, another said “Yellow Pages”.
A third user said “ZUCK!”.
“Facepalm,” one user said, suggesting the gesture for dismay or disappointment
Many users responded to the news with memes. Here are a few such memes:
According to a report in The Verge, Facebook was considering changing its name to reflect its focus on building the metaverse, an online world where people can move and communicate in a virtual environment. Mr Zuckerberg is likely to talk about it at the company’s annual conference on October 28.