As part of a major rebranding effort, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the company’s new name is Meta. It comes as the tech giant faces criticism from lawmakers and regulators and emerges from a recent scandal: Whistleblower Frances Haugen did an explosive interview with 60 Minutes – in which she revealed that the company is aware of how its platforms are used to spread hate, violence and misinformation, and that Facebook (now Meta, of course) has tried to hide that evidence.
Mark Zuckerberg’s plans for a ‘metaverse’
All this is part of Mark Zuckerberg’s plans for building the “metaverse” and not just being a social media company. Metaverse is a concept in the tech world and generally refers to shared virtual world environments which people can access through the internet.
“Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future,” Zuckerberg said on Thursday at the company’s live-streamed virtual and augmented reality conference.
He says the name change would bring together its different apps and technologies, but stressed that the company was not changing its corporate structure. Meta owns Instagram and Whatsapp.
Back in August, Zuckerberg did an interview with American broadcaster CBS, in which he described metaverse as the next generation of the internet. He explained that “instead of being an internet that we look at, right, on our mobile phones or on our computer screens, it’s an internet that we are a part of, or that we can be inside of.”