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Facebook name has been changed to Meta as it continues to focus on virtual reality

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The name change comes as Facebook faces criticism from lawmakers and authorities over its market power, algorithmic judgments, and monitoring of abuses on its platforms.

Facebook Inc has changed its name to Meta, the business announced on Thursday, as part of a rebranding effort centred on the creation of the “metaverse,” a shared virtual environment that the company hopes will be the successor to mobile internet.

The rebranding comes as the world’s largest social media company under legislative and regulatory scrutiny for its market power, algorithmic judgments, and policing of service abuses.

Speaking at the company’s live-streamed virtual and augmented reality conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the new name represented the company’s work investing in the metaverse rather than its namesake social media site, which will remain called Facebook.

The term “metaverse” was coined three decades ago in the dystopian novel “Snow Crash,” and it is now gaining traction in Silicon Valley.

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Image via Facebook

It broadly refers to the concept of a shared virtual reality that may be accessed by people using various devices. “Right now, our brand is so inextricably linked to one product that it can’t possibly reflect everything we’re doing now, let alone in the future,” Zuckerberg explained.

The company, which has made significant investments in augmented and virtual reality, stated that the transition would unite its various apps and technology under a single new name. It stated that it will not alter its corporate structure.

The tech behemoth, which has over 2.9 billion monthly users, has been under increased scrutiny from worldwide lawmakers and regulators in recent years.

In the most recent controversy, whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen published documents claiming that the business prioritised profit before user safety. In recent weeks, Haugen has testified before a Senate subcommittee in the United States and parliamentarians in the United Kingdom’s Parliament.

Earlier this week, Zuckerberg stated that the records were being exploited to construct a “false picture.”

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In a blog post, the business stated that it plans to begin trading under the new stock ticker, MVRS, on December 1. It unveiled a new sign at its Menlo Park, California, headquarters on Thursday, replacing its thumbs-up “Like” emblem with a blue infinity form. On Thursday, Facebook shares closed 1.5 percent higher at $316.92.

This week, Facebook said that its hardware subsidiary, Facebook Reality Labs, which is in charge of AR and VR activities, will become a separate reporting unit, and that its investment in it would cut the company’s total operating profit by nearly $10 billion this year.

This year, the business established a metaverse-focused product team under this unit, and it recently revealed ambitions to hire 10,000 people in Europe over the next five years to work on the project.

In an interview with the Information, Zuckerberg stated that he has not pondered stepping down as CEO and has not discussed “really seriously” spinning off this unit.

Reality Labs, the division’s new name, was announced on Thursday by its head, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth. In addition, the business will no longer use the Oculus branding on its VR headsets, instead referring to them as “Meta” devices.

The name change, originally reported by the Verge, represents a significant rebranding for Facebook, although it is not the company’s first. It adopted a new logo in 2019 to differentiate the company from its social app.

In recent years, the company’s reputation has taken a beating, especially for its handling of user data and its monitoring of abuses such as health misinformation, violent rhetoric, and hate speech.

The Federal Trade Commission of the United States has also filed an antitrust action alleging anticompetitive activities.

“While it will help to relieve confusion by distancing Facebook’s parent business from its founding app, a name change does not magically resolve the company’s systemic flaws,” said Mike Proulx, research director at market research firm Forrester.

According to Prashant Malaviya, a marketing professor at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, the company’s plans to remove the Facebook name from products such as video calling device Portal demonstrate the company’s eagerness to prevent the unprecedented scrutiny from harming the rest of its apps.

“Unquestionably, (the Facebook term) is damaged and poisoned,” he remarked.

According to Zuckerberg, the new name, which is derived from the Greek word for “beyond,” represents the fact that there is always more to build.

On Thursday, Twitter Inc CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted a new definition: “relating to itself or the traditions of its genre; self-referential.” According to Zuckerberg, the new name also symbolises the fact that customers will no longer need to use Facebook to access the company’s other services in the future.

Google reorganised in 2015 to form Alphabet Inc, a new holding company, as the popular search engine expanded into new industries such as self-driving cars, high-speed broadband, and cloud computing.

In 2016, Snapchat rebranded as Snap Inc, the same year company released its first pair of smart glasses.

During Connect, Facebook, which this year released its own set of smart glasses in collaboration with Ray-Ban, unveiled a series of new AR and VR product improvements.

These included the ability for anyone using its Oculus VR headset to call friends via Facebook Messenger and invite others to a shared version of their home called “Horizon Home.” Zuckerberg also demonstrated video samples of what the metaverse could look like, with users connecting as avatars and being transported to digital versions of various locations and time periods. He stated that the metaverse will have to be designed with security and privacy in mind.

Azfar Alam
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My name is Azfar Alam and this is my personal blog or better my personal knowledge base where I am writing down my thoughts all around Native technologies, android and various applications.

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