Facebook Officially Changes Its Name

Facebook is getting a name change! CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that the company will be changing its corporate name to Meta, part of a larger rebrand focused on the "metaverse" concept. Those uneasy with change can breathe a sigh of relief, though, as only the corporate name will be changed, with the global social media platform keeping the Facebook name.

Zuckerberg made the announcement at Connect, the company's annual hardware event, according to The Washington Post, which noted the rebrand comes amid criticisms from lawmakers and regulators and an effort to shift attention away from revelations that it knew its platform was causing abuses on its platforms. Addressing the reason for the rebrand, Zuckerberg said, according to CNet, "answer is that I believe that we're put on this earth to create. I believe that technology can make our lives better," adding that, "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."

Meta is a nod to the idea of the "metaverse," a term for a potential future internet that emphasizes virtual spaces. Zuckerberg said the metaverse will be the internet's "next frontier." Meta will be a new parent company that will preside over Facebook and its multitude of services, including photo app Instagram, messaging app WhatsApp, and its virtual and augmented reality efforts. Zuckerberg noted that the word "meta" is Greek for "beyond."

"Facebook is one of the most-used products in the history of the world. It is an iconic social media brand, but increasingly, it just doesn't encompass everything we do," he said. "I want to anchor our work and our identity in what we are building towards."

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The Thursday announcement comes after it was rumored earlier this month that the company was planning to announce a name change. The Verge's Alex Heath reported at the time the company was setting itself to focus on its future: its push into the "metaverse." Heath said the rebrand "is meant to signal the tech giant's ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail. 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." Facebook was formed in 2004 by Zuckerberg, then a Harvard sophomore, and his fellow college students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.