Facebook, the social networking giant, is proposing to rebrand the firm next week.
According to The Verge, the company is considering changing its name to reflect its emphasis on metaverse development, citing a source with intimate knowledge of the situation.
The name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg intends to discuss at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28 but may announce sooner, is intended to signify the internet giant’s aim to be known for something other than social media and all of its associated evils.
The makeover would almost certainly present the blue Facebook app as one of several products under the umbrella of a parent corporation that also owns Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus.
Facebook now employs over 10,000 people in the development of consumer gear such as augmented reality glasses, which Zuckerberg hopes will soon be as ubiquitous as smartphones. He told The Verge in July that over the next several years, “we will effectively move from being perceived as largely a social media company to being perceived as a metaverse company.”
A rebranding effort might also serve to further distance Zuckerberg’s futuristic work from the tremendous scrutiny Facebook is presently facing over the way its social platform operates.
Facebook is hardly the first well-known technology business to rebrand itself as its goals grow. In 2015, Google reorganised completely under the Alphabet holding company, partially to show that it was no longer merely a search engine, but a global conglomerate with subsidiaries developing driverless cars and health technology.
Additionally, Snapchat rebranded as Snap Inc. in 2016, the same year it began referring to itself as a “camera company” and introduced its first set of Spectacles camera spectacles.
According to The Verge, Facebook’s new corporate name is a highly guarded secret within the firm’s gates and is not widely known, even within the company’s whole senior leadership.
A conceivable name may be Horizon, the name of the company’s still-unreleased virtual reality version of Facebook meets Roblox. The app’s name was recently changed to Horizon Worlds, following Facebook’s demonstration of a version for corporate collaboration dubbed Horizon Workrooms.
Facebook has been quietly setting the groundwork for a bigger emphasis on future technology. It established a specialised metaverse team this summer. Recently, it announced that Andrew Bosworth, head of augmented and virtual reality, would be promoted to chief technology officer. Only a few days ago, Facebook announced plans to hire 10,000 additional staff in Europe to work on the metaverse.
The metaverse is “going to be a significant focus,” Zuckerberg told The Verge’s Casey Newton this summer. “I believe that this is really going to be a big part of the next chapter for how the internet evolves after the mobile internet.”
“And I believe it will be the next significant chapter for our firm as well, since we will be tripling down in this area,” Zuckerberg continued.
The word “metaverse” was famously coined by science fiction novelist Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel ‘Snow Crash,’ referring to a three-dimensional virtual environment populated by avatars of real people.