Following the tweet by Facebook, rumors have been confirmed that the name Facebook INC. has been changed to META.
The name change was announced at the Facebook Connect augmented and virtual reality conference. The new name reflects the company’s growing ambitions beyond social media. Facebook, now known as Meta, has adopted the new pet name, based on the sci-fi term metaverse, to describe its vision for working and playing in a virtual world.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has outlined his vision for the new entity in a founder’s letter:
“From now on, we will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first. That means that over time you won’t need a Facebook account to use our other services. As our new brand starts showing up in our products, I hope people around the world come to know the Meta brand and the future we stand for.”
It is clearly said that Facebook’s broader business structure will now come under the Meta banner, with the company separating its operational streams into two segments: ‘Family of Apps’, being Facebook as we primarily know it, via Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, and ‘Reality Labs’, which will cover its VR and AR technologies and other evolving tech bets.
As explained by Facebook:
“The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together – and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company.”
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said “Today we are seen as a social media company, but in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started.”
The company also said in announcing the new name that it will change its stock ticker* from FB to MVRS, effective Dec. 1.
*Meta’s stock price closed up on Thursday.
What is META anyway?
The word “meta” comes from the Greek word meaning “beyond”. Instead of being on a computer, people in a metaverse might use a headset to enter a virtual world connecting all sorts of digital environments.
“I used to study Classics, and the word “meta” comes from the Greek word meaning “beyond”. For me, it symbolizes that there is always more to build, and there is always a next chapter to the story. Ours is a story that started in a dorm room and grew beyond anything we imagined; into a family of apps that people use to connect with one another, to find their voice, and to start businesses, communities, and movements that have changed the world.” Mark Zuckerberg explained.
It is hoped the virtual world could be used for anything from work, play and concerts, to socializing with friends and family.