Facebook changes company name to Meta

The name is meant to reflect Facebook’s newest “metaverse” project

Facebook officially announced on Thursday that it is about to change its company name to “Meta”. CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced the new name and Facebook’s vision to enter “metaverse” live at an online event.

“Meta” will bring together Facebook apps and technologies under one new company brand, while its focus is to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.

“The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company” said Facebook in a written announcement.

Facebook introduced “Meta” via Twitter as well, sparking a lot of online discussions with users arguing on the company’s next step.

The announced changes concern Facebook policy and the introduction of an innovative platform based on virtual reality. “Meta” refers to the metaverse, which combines virtual reality with technology in terms of work and entertainment.

“Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology,” said Facebook.

Courtesy of CNET

As Zuckerberg explained, the Facebook brand on its website and mobile platforms will remain as it is, but the parent company Facebook Inc., which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, will acquire a new title.

“In the metaverse, you’ll be able to do almost anything you can imagine — get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create — as well as completely new experiences that don’t fit how we think about computers or phones today. We made a film that explores how you might use the metaverse one day” declared Zuckerberg in the founder’s letter. “Our role in this journey is to accelerate the development of the fundamental technologies, social platforms, and creative tools to bring the metaverse to life, and to weave these technologies through our social media apps. We believe the metaverse can enable better social experiences than anything that exists today, and we will dedicate our energy to helping achieve its potential”.

Facebook announced that among its plans is to create 10,000 new highly skilled jobs in the European Union within the next five years to help the development of the “metaverse”. As Zuckerberg underlined, “we hope that within the next decade, the metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers”.

Facebook’s intention to change its name had been leaked in recent weeks, prompting a variety of comments. Several analysts speak of an attempt by the company to open a new chapter and remain a leading social media platform, after the ongoing “scandals” it is called to face, with the latest one of the “Facebook Papers”.

George Mavridis is a freelance journalist and writer based in Greece. His work primarily covers tech, innovation, social media, digital communication, and politics. He graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication. Also, he holds an MA in Media and Communication Studies from the Malmö University of Sweden and an MA in Digital Humanities from the Linnaeus University of Sweden.