Facebook is planning to rebrand itself next week to reflect its focus on building the “metaverse”, which the social media giant defines as “a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality”.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about the name change at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28, but it could be unveiled sooner, technology website The Verge reported.
In response, Facebook said it does not comment on “rumour or speculation”.
The news comes at a time when Facebook company is facing increasing US government scrutiny over its business practices. A whistleblower recently accused the company of prioritising “growth over safety”. Another leak showed that Facebook was also facing a lawsuit from a group of its own shareholders. The group alleges, among other things, that Facebook’s $5 billion payment to the US Federal Trade Commission to resolve the Cambridge Analytica data scandal was so high because it was designed to protect Zuckerberg from personal liability.
The rebranding would position Facebook’s social media app as one of many products under a parent company, which will also oversee groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and more, The Verge said.
Facebook has invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality and intends to connect its nearly three billion users through several devices and apps.
On Tuesday, it announced plans to create 10,000 jobs in the European Union over the next five years to help build the metaverse.
The Verge said a possible name for the company could have something to do with Horizon. Recently, Facebook renamed its in-development VR gaming platform named ‘Horizon’, to ‘Horizon Worlds’.