- Facebook said Thursday that it’s changing its corporate name to Meta.
- The company’s main social app will exist under the new brand umbrella.
- Facebook’s name change comes amid a sweeping public backlash against the company.
Facebook said Thursday it’s changing its corporate name to Meta.
“From now on, we’ll be metaverse first, not Facebook first,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during the company’s Oculus Connect event. “Over time, you won’t need to use Facebook to use our other services.”
The company will begin trading under the new stock ticker MVRS on Dec. 1, Facebook said in a press release.
The much-anticipated name change comes a week after The Verge first reported the company was rebranding to focus on its “metaverse” mission.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg first publicly announced in July that he wants Facebook to become a “metaverse company eventually.” Last week, the company said it would hire 10,000 people across Europe specifically to build out its metaverse project.
The metaverse is a virtual space where people can interact digitally while remaining tethered to the physical world.
Facebook’s main social app would exist underneath the new brand name, as would the rest of the company’s products, like Horizon and WhatsApp. It’s a bit like Google existing under the Alphabet umbrella.
Despite reports the company would undergo a major corporate restructure, potentially similar to Alphabet and Google, Facebook said its “corporate structure is not changing. Its financial reporting will now be broken into two operating segments: its Reality Labs and its Family of Apps.
“Now we have a new North Star,” Zuckerberg said. “From now on, we are going to be Metaverse first, not Facebook first,”
Facebook has faced a rocky few weeks after leaked documents exposed the company’s controversial business practices. It has increasingly emphasized its mission into the metaverse, which has served as a welcome distraction for the company.
But while experts previously told Insider that the metaverse emphasis is a “genius” marketing move, the company isn’t exactly free from the problems that have caused such a widespread public backlash. And the name change itself isn’t enough to save it from the torrent of criticism.
The company is likely trying to “divert the conversation from their current problems onto the metaverse, which is exciting and futuristic,” Anne Olderog – senior partner at the consulting firm Vivaldi with 20 years of brand strategy experience – told Insider. “And truly, nobody understands” the metaverse, which is “also a brilliant move.”
She also said the name change is exciting and creates momentum, but the public “can definitely see through things like that at this stage.”