Facebook Changes Its Name To Meta
Facebook announced on Thursday that it would change its name to Meta, a move that comes as the corporation faces increased scrutiny from politicians and regulators over its market power, algorithmic judgments, and policing of abuses on its platforms.
On Thursday, Facebook Inc CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the company’s annual conference on virtual and augmented reality, saying that privacy and safety must be integrated into the metaverse.
Facebook is still under fire for its market dominance, content moderation procedures, and the negative consequences of its social media platforms. The tech behemoth, which has 2.9 billion monthly users, has been under increased scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators around the world in recent years.
In the most recent controversy, former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen disclosed information that she claimed indicated the business prioritized profit over user safety. The records, according to Zuckerberg, are being exploited to construct a “false picture.”
The metaverse, a phrase that originated three decades hence in dystopian fiction and now gaining traction in Silicon Valley, refers to a shared virtual environment that can be accessed by anyone using various devices.
Zuckerberg has been pushing Facebook as a “metaverse” corporation rather than a social media firm, despite the fact that the company has spent substantially on augmented and virtual reality.
The CEO highlighted examples of privacy and safety restrictions that would be needed during the live-streamed Facebook Connect event, such as the ability to prohibit someone from appearing in your metaverse space.
The company released a series of improvements for its virtual reality and augmented reality devices. It announced that users of its Oculus VR headset will be able to call friends via Facebook Messenger this year, as well as invite others to a virtual version of their home called “Horizon Home,” where they can converse and play games as avatars.
Users of the Oculus Quest will be able to utilize 2D apps like Slack, Dropbox, and Facebook while in the “Horizon Home” VR world, according to Facebook.
The business, which began a beta test of its virtual meeting spaces called “Horizon Workrooms” earlier this year, said it was working on methods to customize them with company branding and graphics, as well as adding more work features to consumer Quest devices. New fitness options for Oculus Quest users were also unveiled.
The new moniker comes as the social media behemoth strives to recover from one of its most serious crises to focus on its vision for the “metaverse,” a virtual reality version of the internet that the tech behemoth views as the way of the future.
The names of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp will not change as a result of the rebranding.
“We’ve learned a lot from struggling with social issues and living under closed platforms, and now it is time to take everything that we’ve learned and help build the next chapter,” Zuckerberg said during an annual developers conference.
“I am proud to announce that starting today, our company is now Meta. Our mission remains the same, still about bringing people together, our apps and their brands, they’re not changing,” he added.
Last week, Facebook opponents jumped on a report that revealed the rebranding plans, claiming the firm was attempting to divert attention away from recent scandals and controversy.
The Real Facebook Oversight Board, an activist group, has warned that large sectors like oil and tobacco have rebranded to “deflect attention” from their problems.
“Facebook believes that a rebrand will enable them to shift the focus,” the organization stated last week, adding that the “true issue” was the need for monitoring and regulation.
Facebook recently announced ambitions to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union to help construct the “metaverse,” with Zuckerberg emerging as a proponent of the concept.
Since former employee Frances Haugen disclosed reams of internal papers proving management were aware of their services’ potential for harm, the social media giant has been embroiled in a new crisis, triggering a renewed US campaign for legislation.
Although Facebook has faced severe crises in the past, the current look behind the curtain of the closed firm has sparked a frenzy of critical reports and scrutiny from US regulators.