CALIFORNIA, U.S.A — Social Media Giant, Facebook, has officially changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc., or Meta for short.
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement Thursday during his keynote kicking off Facebook Connect, its annual conference for AR/VR developers and creators.
Zuckerberg reiterated his commitment to developing the new surround-yourself technology known as the “metaverse,” which he hopes will reach 1 billion people in the next decade. But the social network itself will still be called Facebook.
“Our mission remains the same — it’s still about bringing people together. But now we have a new North Star, to help bring the metaverse to life, and we have a new name that reflects the full breadth of what we do and the future that we want to help build.”META CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG
Facebook’s decision to give itself a new name mirrors Google’s restructuring as a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. in 2015. However, critics are skeptical about the efficacy of the social media giant’s efforts to revamp its reputation and brand image. “But Facebook as a company, product and brand is so ingrained in the global psyche that overhauling its image would be extremely difficult,” Bloomberg reported.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook had 3.6 billion monthly users worldwide in the third quarter of this year. The market value of Facebook, one of the largest companies by market capitalization, is currently at $868.5 billion.
Facebook is one of the most-used products in the world, Zuckerberg said, but “increasingly it just doesn’t encompass everything we do.”
“From now on, we’re going to be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first,” he added, which means that over time users will not need to use Facebook to access the company’s other products.
According to Zuckerberg, the metaverse extends beyond traditional social media to provide virtual environments where people can interact in far more immersive ways. The metaverse strategy also encompasses e-commerce initiatives, which Zuckerberg has said will help reduce its reliance on competitors like Apple and Google.
“Today we’re seen as a social-media company,” but the company’s DNA revolves around building technology to connect people, Zuckerberg said, “and the metaverse is the next frontier.”
Forbes, Associated Press, Variety