Enter The Metaverse: Facebook Company Is Officially Changing Its Name To Meta

VR and AR are taking over the "next internet."

Reflecting a major shift, Facebook is changing its name to Meta as it seeks to build a shared virtual environment for everyone called the metaverse.

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When Facebook first launched over 17 years ago, the social media company immensely changed the way billions of people around the world connected online. It ushered in an era of the social media network and changed the way how we communicated with one another. Now, Facebook is looking to change society once more as it recently announced that it was changing its name.

GOODBYE FACEBOOK, HELLO META

Facebook Changes Name to Meta

On October 29, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced during the Facebook Connect conference that the Facebook Company was officially changing its name to Meta. The change came with a new logo that looks like an infinity symbol. The name change was first reported by The Verge last week and has now been made official with this announcement.

Going forward, Facebook’s company name will be called Meta. Facebook (the social media site and app), WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus, and more will be subsidiaries under the umbrella company. Zuckerberg said during the conference that the new name was inspired by the Greek word meta, which means beyond. “For me, it symbolizes that there is always more to build.”

WHAT IS THE METAVERSE?

Facebook changes its corporate branding to Meta | TechCrunch

This name change reflects how Facebook as a whole is aiming to usher in the new face of the internet. The company is looking to build and expand upon shared virtual environments, which they call the metaverse. The ambitious plan will see virtual and augmented reality become the norm of the internet, or as Zuckerberg has called, “the next internet.”

Facebook teased during the event there will be virtual spaces where users will summon avatars to work, play, and consume media. Some activities you can do in the virtual realm include talking to and interacting with other people, playing sports, attending concerts, having gaming experiences, going to work, and even going to school. Facebook is imagining a future 10 or so years down the line where virtual realities and spaces become second nature for internet users. (Think Ready Player One IRL)

They are already taking steps to make that happen. Last August, they launched Horizon Workrooms, a virtual meeting room where people using virtual-reality headsets can gather as if they were at an in-person work meeting. The name change is the biggest step they have then so far. “I’ve been thinking a lot about our identity. Over time, I hope we’re seen as a metaverse company,” said Zuckerberg.  

While Facebook’s plans are quite grand, don’t expect any major changes right now or in the near future. How you use Facebook as a social media site won’t change that much just yet. These changes might take years to achieve and even more to have a majority adoption. But down the line, social media and the internet, in general, may just fundamentally change.

SCANDAL AFTER SCANDAL

Of course, all of this is happening as Facebook is experiencing one of its worst PR crises in company history. For the past few years, the company has been in near-constant assault for its loose moderation tools and how easy it is for misinformation and fake news to spread on the site. More recently, former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed company documents about how Facebook knows that it is lacking when it comes to handling misinformation, safety, and policy but doesn’t do active steps to try to fix it. The documents also revealed how Instagram has a negative impact on the mental health of teenagers.

Facebook wants nearly your entire life on the metaverse, but the fact that they can’t get their act together now should be a cause for concern. Maybe instead of trying to distance themselves from controversy, they should focus on fixing their many problems first.

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