American social media giant, Facebook has changed its name to Meta.
According to the company, the new name would better “encompass” what it does now, a reference to its plans to invest in virtual reality.
This comes after the company announced its future goal is to create an online world, called Metaverse, where people can work, game and communicate in a virtual environment, using VR headsets.
“From now on, we’ll be metaverse first, not Facebook first,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday in a post titled FOUNDER’S LETTER,2021 and seen by TOS NEWS. “Over time, you won’t need to use Facebook to use our other services.”
TOS NEWS had reported on Monday, October 18, that the firm has announced plans to employ 10,000 people in the European Union over the next five years.
It said the move will enable the company to build a “metaverse”, a virtual reality version of the Internet that the company sees as the future, where people can use different devices to move and communicate in a virtual environment.
Zuckerberg said in his letter: “Today we are seen as a social media company, but in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started.
“We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet. We’ll be able to feel present – like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are. We’ll be able to express ourselves in new joyful, completely immersive ways.”
The name change comes as the company faces scrutiny after a former employee leaked damaging documents showing the company knew its brands such as Instagram had negative impact on young people but focused more on profit-making. However, it has denied wrongdoing. On Thursday, the company said its “corporate structure is not changing.”
The rebrand is expected to position the flagship app (Facebook) as one of several products under a parent company, Meta, following in the footsteps of Google which set up a holding company, Alphabet, in 2015. Meta will also be the holding company for Instagram and WhatsApp.
The company said from December 1, its shares will trade under the stock ticker MVRS and no longer FB. Meta’s stock price rose more than 3 per cent on Thursday.