Report: Facebook plans to reveal new company name
The name change isn’t expected to affect the name of the social network.
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Looking to differentiate all its products, Facebook plans to change its name, according to a new report Wednesday morning. The rebrand reportedly would not affect the name of the little blue app or the website that gave birth to the social media giant, rather it would give a new look to the Facebook that owns Instagram, WhatsApp, and produces hardware, like Occulus virtual reality kits and Portal home assistants.
The Verge reports that new name is expected to be revealed next week, but it could come sooner. The rebranding effort would be similar to when Google reorganized itself when it created Alphabet as an umbrella corporation, separating Google products from its other side projects – or the so-called Other Bets.
A company spokesperson said they are not commenting on the report, calling it “rumor or speculation.”
An unnamed source told reporter Alex Heath that with the coming change, along with other efforts, “we will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company. The technology website noted that Facebook already has 10,000 people working to create augmented reality glasses, adding that founder Mark Zuckerberg believes AR will one day become as common as smartphones.
On Sunday, Facebook also announced in a blog post that it will hire 10,000 people in Europe over the next five years to supplement its efforts. “Working with others, we’re developing what is often referred to as the metaverse — a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality,” the post stated.
The metaverse essentially is a massive virtual world that can be accessed in real time by millions of people using avatars, who can use it to hold virtual meetings or buy virtual land and clothing or other digital assets, often paying with cryptocurrencies. Zuckerberg has spoken frequently about the importance of the metaverse to his company’s future.
Facebook executives have been touting the metaverse as the next big thing after the mobile internet, though their track record is spotty on predicting future trends. Expectations that CEO Mark Zuckerberg made four years ago of taking virtual vacations with faraway loved ones via a headset or using a smartphone camera to improve an apartment virtually have not materialized so far.
Facebook, as a company, has been mired in controversy for years. Among the most recent issues, Frances Haugen, a former data scientist with Facebook, went before Congress last week to accuse the social media platform of failing to make changes to Instagram after internal research showed apparent harm to some teens and of being dishonest in its public fight against hate and misinformation. Haugen’s accusations were supported by tens of thousands of pages of internal research documents she secretly copied before leaving her job in the company’s civic integrity unit.
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