Facebook has changed its name to Meta, the social media giant announced at its annual conference on augmented reality and virtual reality technology Thursday.
Facebook’s new name Meta is Greek for “beyond,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the event.
He said the decision to rename Facebook was made to “reflect who we are and what we hope to build,” referring to the company’s plans to focus on the “metaverse.”
A blue infinity symbol-like logo accompanied the new name.
Facebook Inc. also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, among other mobile apps.
“Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future,” Zuckerberg said. “Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and identity on what we’re building toward.”
“Facebook executives have not proven to be trustworthy with their products in the real world, so it’s not clear why we should trust them in a virtual world,” Kirsten Martin, professor of technology ethics at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, said in a statement.
$868.5 billion. That’s the market value of Facebook, one of the largest companies by market capitalization. It had 3.6 billion monthly users worldwide in the third quarter of this year, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Shortly after news of Facebook’s name change, fast-food chain Wendy’s changed it’s Twitter handle to “Meat,” quipping that it is going “Into the Metaverse.”
Zuckerberg also fleshed out more details about the “metaverse,” a concept of a digital world where virtual reality blends with physical reality, at the company’s annual Connect conference. Gaming will likely be the first feature that pulls users into the metaverse, Zuckerberg said. But Zuckerberg is also eyeing to hook users with workout sessions, as well as features for work and education in the metaverse. Zuckerberg said Facebook is leaning toward giving users an option to use accounts separate from their social media accounts. Facebook has smart sunglasses equipped with built-in cameras, jointly made with Ray-Ban, on the market, and already offers virtual-reality headsets.