Facebook is planning on changing its name next week to reflect its focus on building more than just social media, according to reports.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to announce the name change at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th. In July, Zuckerberg told The Verge that, over the next several years, Facebook will “effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”
The term ‘metaverse’ was originated by by sci-fi novelist Neal Stephenson to describe a virtual utopia. The tech industry defines it as a “a multiverse which interoperates more with the real world”.
According to The Verge, Facebook already has more than 10,000 employees building consumer hardware like AR (Alternate Reality) glasses that Zuckerberg believes will eventually be as widely used as smartphones.
Because Facebook also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, a name change could position the three apps under one big umbrella brand.
A rebrand could also be just what the company needs after facing intense criticism following whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony before Congress about the platform’s negative business practices.
Zuckerberg, however, seems the most concerned with building this metaverse, telling The Verge that it’s going to be a big part of the “next chapter for the way the internet evolves after the mobile internet.” The company is “really doubling down in this area,” he said.
A company spokesperson, when asked about the name change, stated plainly that Facebook does not comment on rumor or speculation. However, this has not stopped Twitter users from coming up with their own hilarious suggestions.