Social media giant Facebook, has changed its corporate name to Meta to separate its work on new technologies from the Facebook social media platform.
The announcement was made by its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a presentation that showcased Facebook’s work on virtual reality technologies.
Zuckerberg also stated that the Silicon Valley giant will now be primarily focusing on the metaverse rather than its social media apps.
What is Metaverse?
A metaverse is an online world where people can game, work and communicate in a virtual environment.
The term refers to a cyberspace parallel to physical reality where a community of people can interact in the form of avatars.
This is possible through the merging of physical, augmented, and virtual reality.
In his presentation Zuckerberg said that he had chosen the name Meta in part because it “reflects the full breadth of what we do and the future we want to help build”. But he also said he had chosen it as in Greek it means ‘beyond’.
What does the name change mean for Facebook?
While the parent company is now no longer known as Facebook, the Facebook name will live on in the form of the social media app.
Indeed, day-to-day users of Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp will be unlikely to see any changes to do with the name change.
Explaining the move, Zuckerberg said, “increasingly, [Facebook] just doesn’t encompass everything we do.
“Building our social media apps will always be an important focus for us but right now our entire 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.”
Meta the company
Zuckerberg said, “Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company. And I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.”
It’s a move that echoes what Google did when it changed the name of its parent company to Alphabet in 2015, to represent its shift beyond simply being a search engine.
The other key announcement Zuckerberg made was about Meta’s ‘North Star’ – business jargon for what a company’s purpose is.
He said Meta was “going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first”. Essentially, it means Facebook will no longer be the company’s main focus. Instead, it will pour its resources into constructing virtual reality products.
Longer-term, Zuckerberg said it would also mean people wouldn’t need to use Facebook to use the company’s other services.