Facebook is reportedly planning to change its name in an effort to reflect its work on building the “metaverse.” The edge reports, citing a source familiar with the matter.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to announce the name change at the company’s Connect conference on October 28, if not earlier. The name change could indicate Facebook’s intentions to grow beyond a social media company and become a tech conglomerate. With Facebook owning Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus VR devices, and other brands, the name change will likely organize all groups under one umbrella, similar to Google’s move to Alphabet in 2015.
Zuckerberg has previously commented on Facebook’s intentions to expand into different technologies and the metaverse. He said The edge earlier this year, “we will effectively transition from people seeing us primarily as a social media company to being a meta-reverse company.”
The Verge also reports that the name is a closely guarded secret, even among top executives at Facebook. One theory is that it will take its name from Facebook’s unreleased virtual reality platform Horizon Worlds, formerly known as Facebook Horizons.
The rebrand of Facebook could also have an impact on the negative perception of the company as a major source of misinformation. Earlier this month, a whistleblower (and former Facebook employee) testified that the company prioritized profits over the well-being of its users, and He leaked confidential documents related to his accusations..
Hands-on Google Pixel 6 Pro
Some of the most notable claims by whistleblowers include that Facebook knew its product was having a negative impact on people’s health, particularly the mental health of adolescents. The whistleblower also alleged that Facebook relaxed its regulations on misinformation after the 2020 elections, just before the January 6 riot in Washington DC. Vox reports.
Even before 2021, Facebook was frequently embroiled in controversy. The infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal showed that Facebook had exposed the data of 87 million accounts to the political consultancy that works for the Trump campaign. A lawsuit was filed in 2018 about the data mining scandal and, more recently, today the DC Attorney General announced that Mark Zuckerberg had been added as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Even Facebook’s technology has come under intense criticism. Facebook formally apologized last month after the platform AI tagged the videos of black men under “primates. “
What exactly is the metaverse? It depends on who you ask. The founder of Pokémon Go creator Niantic called it a “dystopian nightmare,” but Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, who received $ 1 billion earlier this year to help build Epic’s own metaverse, believes that it will be an asynchronous and persistent virtual universe where all brands, companies, independent users and independent creators will be able to be interconnected. Imagine the Oasis of Ready Player One, but where Fortnite and Instagram exist in the same code.
It is definitely complicated, and probably years and years of becoming a reality thanks to the diverse and unregulated nature of the internet and different technology platforms, not to mention convincing major brands to participate in a virtual world. The term “metaverse” has also been used by NFT and cryptocurrency groups to describe their vision of a shared universe where a unique element in one game / application can be used in another. However, the NFT and crypto community is so riddled with scams and dodgy promises that even Steam has seen fit to ban all games with NFT or crypto integration. Luckily for them, Sweeney says they’re okay with Epic.
Joseph Knoop is a writer / producer / non-expendable for IGN. Become part of his meh-taverse at Twitter.