Facebook changes company name to Meta in major rebrand

BY: BBC
Facebook changes company name to Meta in major rebrand
Mark Zuckerberg has been a leading voice on the metaverse. PHOTO: AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Facebook has changed its corporate name to Meta as part of a major rebrand.

The company said it would better "encompass" what it does, as it broadens its reach beyond social media into areas like virtual reality.

The change does not apply to its individual platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, only the parent company that owns them.

The move follows a series of negative stories about Facebook, based on documents leaked by an ex-employee.

Frances Haugen has accused the company of putting "profits over safety".

In 2015, Google restructured its company calling its parent firm Alphabet, however, the name has not caught on.

'Our company is now Meta'

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg announced the new name after unveiling plans to build a "metaverse" - an online world where people can game, work and communicate in a virtual environment, often using VR headsets.

He said the existing brand could not "possibly represent everything that we're doing today, let alone in the future", and needed to change.

"Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we're building towards," he told a virtual conference.

"We're now looking at and reporting on our business as two different segments, one for our family of apps, and one for our work on future platforms.

"And as part of this, it is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do to reflect who we are and what we hope to build.

"I am proud to announce that starting today, our company is now Meta."

To an outsider, a metaverse may look like a version of VR, but some people believe it could be the future of the internet.

Instead of being on a computer, people in the metaverse might use a headset to enter a virtual world connecting all sorts of digital environments.

It is hoped the virtual world could be used for practically anything from work, play and concerts, to socialising with friends and family.