Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the change of its Company’s name to Meta at the company’s AR/VR-focused Connect event, sharing that the new title captured more of the company’s core ambition: to build the metaverse.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg alongside a few other executives led the Connect 2021 keynote. Much of the time was spent discussing further the details of what Facebook Reality Labs is envisioning with its mixed reality metaverse which included how the platform could offer new ways to experience work, play, exercise, entertainment, and much more. The metaverse isn’t something that will be launching all at once or right away but will be developed over the next decade. Notably, Zuckerberg said the company aims to have 1 billion metaverse users in ten years.
Mark’s New Meta ‘M’
Facebook isn’t the first well-known tech company to change its company name as its ambitions expand. The change is an attempt to bring focus to its work on the “metaverse”, as it refers to a host of augmented and virtual reality features that it claims will be the future of social networking.
But it might also be an attempt to shift focus away from its ongoing controversies.
Mr Zuckerberg said the name “Facebook” does not reflect everything the company did, pointing to existing separate apps such as Instagram and its Oculus virtual reality platform.
He iterated that Facebook the app will keep its name, and Meta will refer only to the parent company that also owns other apps such as WhatsApp and Instagram. As such, it is similar to the rebrand of Google into Alphabet – which kept the name for the search engine but changed the branding of the umbrella company in recognition of its other work.
Mr Zuckerberg said:
“From now on, we’re going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first,” He suggested that “Facebook app and branding will be removed from other apps, and that it will instead look to push the new Meta name.”
Aside from Zuckerberg’s comments, Facebook has been steadily laying the groundwork for a greater focus on the next generation of technology. This past summer it set up a dedicated metaverse team. More recently, it announced that the head of AR and VR, Andrew Bosworth, will be promoted to chief technology officer. And just a couple of days ago Facebook announced plans to hire 10,000 more employees to work on the metaverse in Europe.
This move by social media giant Facebook has put it on the watch list of quite a lot of individuals and organisations to understand the implications of what its new name bears. Facebook is serious enough about the metaverse business to make a heavy investment in hiring and product development—it’s spending $10 billion on metaverse projects just this year—and it’s also far from alone in pursuing the concept.
More news surrounding Facebook’s new name and further innovations would be seen happening spontaneously in the next couple of months.