Facebook has been under an increasing amount of heat for the past few years. Perhaps because of this, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to change the name of Facebook and refocus it, revolving around the metaverse, according to a source. We should hear what the new name will be by next week.
Quick History on Facebook’s Past Troubles
Most people know how Facebook started, thanks to the hit movie “Social Network.” Zuckerberg conceived it with his Harvard University classmates as a way to get to know their other classmates. Soon it expanded to other universities, then became public and the most famous social network. It’s where you want to find out what happened to ex-classmates, keep up with long-distance family, check in with your community, etc.
Things took a sharp turn, however, with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook users learned their data was being sold and that they were left vulnerable to political influence.
That was just the beginning of the troubles. Facebook is now seen as not very trustworthy, and governments want to break it and other large tech companies up. Compounding all of this, a former employee has turned over documents that have sunk Facebook in even further trouble. It’s the subject of investigations, lawsuits, and more.
But throughout, Facebook became more than just “Facebook.” Also under that same ownership is Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus Quest. With all the troubles, though, it’s quite the mess.
Potential Facebook Name Change and Metaverse Rebranding
It seems Zuckerberg may be eying a way out of the troubles by pushing Facebook in a new direction. A source with direct knowledge says there is a name change in the works for Facebook that will be announced by the end of the month. Additionally, it’s known that Zuckerberg wants to refocus on the metaverse.
Last July, Zuckerberg said that over the next several years, “we will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”
If you’re wondering what the metaverse is, you’re not alone. Part of the confusion could be because the term can mean a few different things.
“Metaverse” was used by a sci-fi novelist to mean a virtual community that served as an escape from the real world. It also refers to a virtual world environment accessible through the Web, VR and AR spaces, gaming worlds, and a world where blockchain is used to buy virtual land, cryptocurrencies, and other assets.
The source said Zuckerberg is planning on announcing the name change at next week’s Connect conference.
Because of Facebook’s other brands, Zuckerberg could be envisioning the same route Google took. it gathered all its products under the umbrella of Alphabet. Snapchat did the same rebranding to Snap Inc.
Facebook seems to have become serious about this last summer when it put together a metaverse team.
The Future of Facebook as a Metaverse Company
Facebook also promoted the head of AR and VR, Andrew Bosworth, to chief technology officer. Just recently, Facebook announced it would be hiring 10,000 more dedicated metaverse employees in Europe.
The metaverse is “going to be a big focus, and I think that this is just going to be a big part of the next chapter for the way that the Internet evolves after the mobile Internet,” said Zuckerberg in his chat last summer.
“And I think it’s going to be the next big chapter for our company too, really doubling down in this area.”