Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that the name of the conflicting parent company will be changed to “Meta” to represent a future beyond its social network.
“We’ve learned a lot from struggling with social issues and living on closed platforms, and now is the time to take everything we’ve learned and help build the next chapter,” Zuckerberg said during an annual developer conference that takes place after weeks. . devastating press release for the company.
The new identifier comes as the social media giant tries to fend off one of its worst crises yet and turn toward its ambitions for the virtual reality version of the Internet “metaverse” that the tech giant sees as the future.
Explaining the rebrand, Zuckerberg said the name “Facebook” no longer encompasses “everything we do.” In addition to his main social network, which now includes Instagram, Messenger, his Quest VR headsets, his Horizon VR platform, and more.
“Our applications and their brands are not changing,” he added, confirming that the social network Facebook would not change its name.
Zuckerberg said the new name encompasses the company’s virtual reality vision for the future.
“Today we are seen as a social media company. But in our DNA we are a company that creates technology to connect people, ”said Zuckerbeg. “Right now, our brand is closely linked to a product. But over time, I hope that we will be seen as a meta-reverse company. “
Zuckerberg, who is a fan of the classics, explained that the word “goal” comes from the Greek word “beyond.”
The meta.com website now redirects to a welcome page on Facebook that describes the vision of the companies of the “metaverse”.
“The connection is evolving and so are we,” declares the landing page, explaining that “The metaverse is the next evolution of the social connection. Our company’s vision is to help bring the metaverse to life, so we are changing our name to reflect our commitment to this future. “
What is the metaverse? Think of it as the internet coming to life, or at least 3D rendering. Zuckerberg has described it as a “virtual environment” that you can enter, rather than simply staring at a screen. Essentially, it is a world of interconnected, endless virtual communities where people can meet, work, and play, using virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps, or other devices.
It will also incorporate other aspects of life online, such as shopping and social media, according to Victoria Petrock, an analyst who follows emerging technologies.
Zuckerberg says he expects the metaverse to reach a billion people in the next decade. The metaverse, he says, will be a place where people can interact, work and create products and content in what he hopes is a new ecosystem that creates “millions” of jobs for creators.
Skeptics point out that the move also appears to be an attempt to change the subject of the Facebook Docs, a trove of leaked documents so dubbed by a consortium of news organizations.
Many of these documents, first described by former Facebook employee turned whistleblower Frances Haugen, have revealed how Facebook ignored or downplayed internal warnings of negative and often damaging consequences that its social media algorithms created or expanded upon. all over the world.
Facebook has suffered major crises before, but the current vision behind the curtain of the island company has fueled a frenzy of scathing reporting and scrutiny from US regulators.
“Good faith reviews help us improve, but my view is that what we are seeing is a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false image of our company,” Zuckerberg said in an earnings call Monday. .
The Washington Post suggested last month that Facebook’s interest in the metaverse is “part of a broader push to rehabilitate the company’s reputation with lawmakers and reposition Facebook to shape the regulation of Internet technologies from the United States. next wave “.
Google rebranded itself Alphabet in a corporate overhaul in 2015, but online search and advertising powerhouse remains its defining unit despite other operations like Waymo autonomous cars and Verily life sciences.