Posts: 8,463 +104
Why it matters: With close to 3 billion monthly active users, almost half the world is on Facebook, and most non-users know of the social network. But according to a new report, the company is about to undergo a name change.
The Verge writes that Facebook's new name will reflect its focus on creating a metaverse. The company will be rebranded as a parent group overseeing its suite of apps, including Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and the current Facebook app—similar to when Google reorganized in 2015 to become a subsidiary of new parent Alphabet.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly planning to talk about the name change at the annual Connect conference on October 28, though it could be revealed sooner. Back in July, he 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."
Facebook is also adding 10,000 "high-skilled" jobs across the European Union over the next five years to build hardware such as VR and AR experiences. The new name could be related to Facebook's unreleased social virtual reality world called Horizon that it's been working on for the last few years.
A spokesperson for Facebook said the company "doesn't comment on rumor or speculation."
Zuckerberg will doubtlessly be hoping the name change will help distance Facebook from the barrage of bad press it's received in recent weeks, which have been the company's worst since it was rocked by the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018.
There were leaked internal studies that showed the social network knows how damaging Instagram is for teenage girls' mental wellbeing; Zuckerberg being forced to deny claims he told Donald Trump that Facebook wouldn't fact-check politicians in exchange for less severe regulations; the FTC lawsuit; one of the site's worst outages in years; and a whistleblower testifying to US senators that Facebook prioritizes making money over doing what is good for the public, which most of us already knew. There was also the cease-and-desist letter it sent to the developer of the Unfollow Everything extension.