As Facebook plans to go all in on the metaverse, a virtual-reality space where users can interact with each other in a computer-generated environment, the tech giant has announced it will take on a new name: Meta.
“Today, we’re seen as a social media company. But in our DNA, we were a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier, just like social networking was when we got started,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at Thursday’s Connect 2021 event.
“From now on, we’re going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first. That means that over time, you won’t need to use Facebook to use our other services as our new brand start showing up in our products. I hope that people come to know the Meta brand and the future that we stand for.”
Zuckerberg emphasized that the announcement will not change its corporate structure or how it uses or shares data. However, beginning in the fourth quarter, the company will begin reporting its Reality Labs segment separately from its apps.
Shares of Facebook have jumped 3% following the announcement.
The rebrand comes as Facebook has faced a growing PR firestorm, including scathing testimony to U.S. and U.K. lawmakers from former Facebook product manager-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen and a series of reports from The Wall Street Journal and a media consortium of 17 U.S. news outlets, including FOX Business, dubbed The Facebook Files and Facebook Papers, respectively.
The testimony and reports have covered a wide range of issues at the company, including misinformation on Facebook’s platform and Instagram’s negative impacts on teens and children.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.