Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, on Thursday, October 28, 2021 that the company has been rebranded as Meta, a name change that comes as it battles criticisms from lawmakers and regulators.
In a statement published online, the company said the new name “brings together our apps and technologies under one new company brand.”
“Meta is helping to build the metaverse, a place where we’ll play and connect in 3D. Welcome to the next chapter of social connection.
“The names of the apps that we build—Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp—will remain the same.
“Meta’s focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses,” the company said in the statement.
“The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world.”
The company announced the rebranding as it faces criticisms over its market power, its algorithmic decisions and the policing of abuses on its platforms.
In an earlier speech, Mark said, privacy and safety would need to be built into the metaverse, as he opened the company’s annual conference on virtual and augmented reality on Thursday, October 28, 2021.
The CEO gave examples of privacy and safety controls that would be needed in the metaverse, such as the ability to block someone from appearing in your space.
Mark is betting that the metaverse will be the next big computing platform, calling it “the successor to the mobile internet.”
The metaverse, a term first coined in a dystopian novel three decades ago and now attracting buzz in Silicon Valley, refers broadly to the idea of a shared virtual environment which can be accessed by people using different devices.