Mark Zuckerberg announced the new name at a Facebook Connect live event on Thursday. Now, to be clear, this doesn’t mean the flagship social platform’s name is changing. But Zuckerberg says the name change for the overall company was necessary to reflect its full range of offerings and experiences.
‘Right now our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything we’re doing today, let alone in the future,’ Zuckerberg said in a statement pegged to the announcement. ‘Over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.’
‘We are a company that builds technology to connect,’ Zuckerberg said at Thursday’s event. ‘Together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy.’
The name change comes at an inauspicious time for the company’s public profile. In recent weeks, Facebook has been dogged by allegations from lawmakers, from former employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen, and from several corners of the media that its social platforms’ algorithms are not doing enough to stop the spread of extreme or authoritarian content in the U.S. and abroad, as well as having a negative impact on many teen users’ mental & physical health. In a letter published on October 5, Zuckerberg responded to the criticism, saying it ‘just doesn’t reflect the company we know. We care deeply about issues like safety, well-being and mental health.’