Facebook is reportedly planning to change its name

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Mark Zuckerberg might reveal new brand at next week's Connect conference

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21 October 2021 | 0

Facebook is reportedly planning to rebrand itself with a new company name that has more focus on its proposed ‘metaverse’.

The new name could be revealed on 28 October during the company’s annual Connect conference, according to The Verge, citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

The move will likely position the flagship social network under a parent company that oversees brands like Instagram and WhatsApp. Google underwent a similar restructure when it moved into a holding company called Alphabet in 2015.

 

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Facebook said it doesn’t comment on ‘rumour or speculation’, but the company’s CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has been talking up the metaverse in recent weeks. This is pitched as a digital world where people can move between different devices and communicate in a virtual space.

The tech giant has already invested heavily into virtual and augmented reality technology, which includes the development of hardware such as its Oculus VR headsets and AR glasses.

It also recently announced plans to create 10,000 jobs across the European Union as part of its metaverse strategy. An average of 2,000 roles will be created across the bloc, annually, over the next five years, but very little detail was given about the roles other than the label ‘high skilled’.

The term ‘metaverse’ was coined in the dystopian novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson was released in 1992. The rebrand could provide some escapism for Zuckerberg, by separating his work on the company’s future from the intense scrutiny it is under.

Facebook is currently being accused of failing to protect its users, particularly children, with regulators and global lawmakers concerned it causes actual harm. Recent testimony from a former employee, Frances Huagen suggested the platform puts “profit before public safety”. The claim concerns a change of algorithm that prioritises certain content in its news feed to keep users engaged.

© Dennis Publishing

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