Facebook Is Changing Its Name

Facebook won't be Facebook much longer. Facebook is preparing to announce a name change, according to The Verge's Alex Heath. While the social media platform known as Facebook will presumably keep its name, the overall company — that also owns Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus — is rebranding itself to focus on its future: its push into the "metaverse." The metaverse is, simply put, a series of internet services and experiences — such as social media, virtual reality and commerce — all interconnected together. This metaverse-themed name will apparently be revealed by Oct. 28 and comes while the company has faced even more scrutiny about how its platforms spread misinformation and hate speech.

"The coming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about at the company's annual Connect conference on October 28th, but could unveil sooner, is meant to signal the tech giant's ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail," Heath reported. "The rebrand would likely position the blue Facebook app as one of many products under a parent company overseeing groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more."

As for what the new name will be, that is currently not known. However "Horizon" could be at least part of it. Heath writes, "I'm told that the new Facebook company name is a closely-guarded secret within its walls and not known widely, even among its full senior leadership. A possible name could have something to do with Horizon, the name of the still-unreleased VR version of Facebook-meets-Roblox that the company has been developing for the past few years. The name of that app was recently tweaked to Horizon Worlds shortly after Facebook demoed a version for workplace collaboration called Horizon Workrooms."

Facebook's push into the metaverse is not breaking news to those following the coming's business moves and public comments in recent years. They've continued to invest in virtual reality technology and other endeavors outside of social media. In July, Zuckerberg openly discussed the concept at length with The Verge.

"The metaverse is a vision that spans many companies - the whole industry," Zuckerberg said. "You can think about it as the successor to the mobile internet. And it's certainly not something that any one company is going to build, but I think a big part of our next chapter is going to hopefully be contributing to building that, in partnership with a lot of other companies and creators and developers. But you can think about the metaverse as an embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content - you are in it. And you feel present with other people as if you were in other places, having different experiences that you couldn't necessarily do on a 2D app or webpage, like dancing, for example, or different types of fitness."

He later added, "And my hope, if we do this well, I think over the next five years or so, in this next chapter of our company, I think we will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company. And obviously, all of the work that we're doing across the apps that people use today contribute directly to this vision in terms of building community and creators. So there's a lot to jump into here. I'm curious what direction you want to take this in. But this is something that I'm spending a lot of time on, thinking a lot about, we're working on a ton. And I think it's just a big part of the next chapter for the work that we're going to do in the whole industry."