TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Facebook is planning to change its name next week according to a report from The Verge, citing a source with direct knowledge on the matter.
The report says Facebook could change its name to reflect its focus on building a “metaverse,” described by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as the next chapter after the mobile internet.
The “metaverse” is a massive virtual world that can be accessed in real-time by millions of people using avatars, who can use it to hold virtual meetings or buy virtual land and clothing or other digital assets, often paying with cryptocurrency.
The Verge says the new name is still a closely guarded secret, but could have something to do with Horizon, the name of its unreleased VR version of Facebook-meets-Roblox the company has been developing for years.
Reporting by the Associated Press and the Verge noted the timing of the announcement.
The social media giant has grappled with national headlines recently, including a global outage that knocked Facebook and its other platforms offline for hours and a whistleblower report that claimed the company’s products harm children and fuel polarization in the U.S.
But Facebook would not be the first to reorganize its company structure. In 2015, Google announced its new corporate operating structure, putting Alphabet over Google as its subsidiary. The move foreshadowed Google’s plan to expand from software into hardware, eventually launching a line of smart tech products including the Google Home Mini, and Google Pixel smartphones.
Facebook has already invested heavily in virtual and augmented reality, releasing hardware like its Oculus VR headsets. The tech company has AR glasses and wristband technologies in development.