Facebook has changed its name to Meta in a major rebrand as the social media giant continues to face an unprecedented scrutiny over its business practices.
The company said the new name would better “encompass” what it does now.
The firm has made clear its future goal to create an online world, called Metaverse, where people can work, game and communicate in a virtual environment, using VR headsets.
“We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet. We’ll be able to feel present – like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are,” founder Mark Zuckerberg said. “We’ll be able to express ourselves in new joyful, completely immersive ways.”
He added: “The best way to understand the metaverse is to experience it yourself.”
The name change announcement was made at Facebook’s annual developer conference, the BBC reported.
The firm has come under fire and has been the subject of negative news coverage after a former employee leaked damaging documents showing the company knew its brands such as Instagram had negative impact on young people but focused more on profit-making.
The rebrand is expected to position the flagship app (Facebook) as one of several products under a parent company, Meta, following in the footsteps of Google which set up a holding company, Alphabet, in 2015.