Facebook Changes Name to 'Meta' in Major Rebranding Bid
The rebranding comes as Mark Zuckerberg's effort to transition from a social media company to being a "metaverse."
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, 28 October, announced that the company's new name will be 'Meta'.
The website meta.com now shows Facebook app, Messenger, Instagram, Whatsapp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal, and Novi, under the 'What We Build' section.
While making the announcement at the company's Connect event, Zuckerberg, as quoted by The Verge, said that the name Facebook doesn’t fully encompass everything the company does now. "But over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company,” he said.
The rebranding comes as part of Zuckerberg's effort to transition from a social media company to being a "metaverse company.”
Facebook describes the metaverse as a virtual space where “you’ll be able to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create, and more. It’s not necessarily about spending more time online – it’s about making the time you do spend online more meaningful.”
According to Reuters, Facebook already has plans to hire 10,000 employees in the European Union over the next five years to facilitate the build of the “metaverse”. The company also plans to invest $50 million to build the virtual world.
Is Rebranding a Distraction?
The rebranding comes amid several allegations made against the tech giant by former employee Frances Haugen, who stressed that Facebook executives knew of their sites' potential for harm.
Former Facebook employees and documents viewed by several media outlets have revealed that the social media giant failed to "police abusive content" in countries where "such speech was most likely to cause the most harm" in its race to become a global service, Reuters reported.
However, despite its global expansion, the company has not been able to prevent itself from becoming a channel for "hate speech, inflammatory rhetoric and misinformation."
Meanwhile, an activist group called 'The Real Facebook Oversight Board' has warned that to "deflect attention" from their problems, major industries like oil and tobacco had rebranded as well.
Last week, the group was quoted as saying, "Facebook thinks that a rebrand can help them change the subject," and added that the "real issue" was the need for oversight and regulation, news agency AFP reported.
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