Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, announced on Thursday that the parent company’s name will be changed to “Meta” to represent a future beyond the troubled social network.
The new handle comes as the social media giant tries to recover from one of its most serious crises to focus on its vision for the “metaverse,” a virtual reality version of the internet that the internationally competitive sees as the way of the future.
The names of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp will not change the outcome of the rebranding.
“From struggling with social issues and living under closed platforms, we’ve learned a lot, and now it’s time to take everything we’ve learned and help build the next chapter,” Zuckerberg said at a developer conference.
“I am proud to announce that starting today, our company is now Meta. Our mission remains the same, still about bringing people together, our apps and their brands, they’re not changing,” he added.
Last week, Facebook critics pounced on a report that exposed the rebranding plans, alleging the company was trying to deflect attention away from recent scandals and controversy.
The Real Facebook Oversight Board, an activist group, has warned that large sectors like oil and tobacco have rebranded to “deflect attention” from their problems.
“Facebook thinks that a rebrand can help them change the subject,” the group said last week, adding the “real issue” was the need for oversight and regulation.
Facebook recently announced plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to help build the “metaverse,” with Zuckerberg emerging as an advocate of the concept.