Facebook changes its name to Meta as part of company rebrand

Facebook has announced a rebrand of the company, renaming it Meta, to bring together its different apps and technologies.

In an announcement at the Facebook Connect conference, founder Mark Zuckerberg said legacy apps like Facebook and Instagram will now be part of the new metaverse-focused parent company.

It comes as the social media giant deals with the fallout from a series of news reports and whistleblower complaints about how it handles user safety.

Mr Zuckerberg has spoken about the company becoming one that is increasingly seen as a “metaverse business”, and last week the technology powerhouse announced plans to hire 10,000 people across the EU to help bring this idea together.

The metaverse is a concept coined in the 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash to describe a kind of three-dimensional virtual reality version of the internet where people are present as avatars and move through a digital representation of the real world.

Mr Zuckerberg expects the metaverse to reach a billion people within the next decade.

“Today we are seen as a social media company,” he said. “But in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people.”

He said the Facebook name is “so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future”.

The corporation’s products include Instagram, Messenger, its Quest VR headset and its Horizon VR platform.

Meta unveiled a new sign at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, replacing its thumbs-up “like” logo with a blue infinity shape.

The name of the Facebook social network will not be changed.

Explaining the metaverse concept, Mr Zuckerberg has said: “It’s a virtual environment. We can be present with people in digital spaces. And you can kind of think about this as an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at. And we believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile internet.”

He predicted that people would be able to access the metaverse “from all different devices and different levels of fidelity from apps on phones and PCs to immersive virtual and augmented reality devices”.

“Within the metaverse, you can build a hang out, play games with friends, work, create and more,” he said. “You’re basically going to be able to do everything that you can on the internet today, as well as some things that don’t make sense on the internet today like dancing.”

He said the defining quality of the metaverse is “the feeling that you’re really there with another person or in another place”.

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