Facebook is now called Meta, the corporate said on Thursday, during a rebrand that focuses on building the “metaverse,” a shared virtual environment that it bets are going to be the successor to the mobile internet. The name change comes because the world’s largest social media company battles criticisms from lawmakers and regulators over its market power, algorithmic decisions and therefore the policing of abuses on its services.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the company’s live-streamed virtual and augmented reality conference, said the new name reflected its work investing within the metaverse, instead of its namesake social media service, which can still be called Facebook. “Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to at least one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, including within the future,” said Zuckerberg.
The company, which has invested heavily in augmented and computer game said the change would compile its different apps and technologies under one new brand. It said it might not change its corporate structure. The tech giant, which reports about 2.9 billion monthly users, has faced increasing scrutiny in recent years from global lawmakers and regulators.
Zuckerberg said the new name ‘Meta,’ coming from the Greek word for “beyond,” symbolized there was always more to create. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Thursday tweeted out a special definition “referring to itself or to the conventions of its genre; self-referential.”
Zuckerberg also added that the new name also reflects that over time, users won’t got to use Facebook to use the company’s other services.