Facebook announces new company name, Meta, as Mark Zuckerberg reveals pivot to the 'metaverse'

Facebook’s company name has been rebranded to ‘Meta’ after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg revealed the much-awaited name change in an announcement on Thursday

Seen on the screen of a device in Sausalito, Calif., Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces their new name, Meta, during a virtual event on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. Zuckerberg talked up his latest passion -- creating a virtual reality "metaverse" for business, entertainment and meaningful social interactions. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Facebook announced its new company name in its major rebrand for the social media company to mark its emphasis on products related to the ‘metaverse’.

As of Thursday 28 October, the company is now called ‘Meta’ according to the announcement made at Facebook’s annual Connect conference this evening.

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While the company name itself has changed, the name of the Facebook platform itself will stay the same.

Chief executive officer of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, revealed the result of the rumoured name change after news of the planned Facebook name change was reported by The Verge last week.

The move is designed to represent the firm’s broadening business portfolio beyond social networking, particularly as it pushes on with plans to develop the so-called metaverse, an online world where people can meet, play and work virtually, often using Virtual Reality (VR) headsets.

Speaking on the Facebook Connect livestream where the new brand was revealed, Zuckerberg said that the company believes the metaverse will be “the successor to the mobile internet.”

Calling the new metaverse medium an “embodied internet”, Zuckerberg added: "We'll be able to feel present - like we're right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are.

A sign with a new logo and the name 'Meta' is displayed in front of Facebook headquarters on October 28, 2021 in Menlo Park, California. A new name and logo were unveiled at Facebook headquarters after a much anticipated name change for the social media platform. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

"We will be able to express ourselves in new joyful completely immersive ways, and that's going to unlock a lot of amazing new experiences.”

But it also comes amid a string of controversies that have followed the company’s various ventures, particularly the main Facebook platform, Instagram and WhatsApp.

This is similar to how Google created a new parent company name, Alphabet, in 2015 to represent its shift beyond simply being a search engine.

Facebook’s corporate structure will also remain unchanged, but the company’s stock will soon begin to trade as under the new share ticker, MVRS, from 1 December.

Alongside the launch of the new Facebook company name, the Connect 2021 event saw the announcement of new tools aimed at helping users and developers build for the metaverse, with new products such as a ‘Presence Platform’ enabling new mixed reality experiences on VR headset Oculus Quest 2.

The company will also be investing $150 million in immersive learning to ‘train the next generation of creators’ following its pledge to invest $10 billion in the metaverse over the next year.

At the time of writing, Facebook’s new @Meta Twitter account remained private.

But Facebook’s account on the rival social media platform wrote: “Announcing @Meta — the Facebook company’s new name. Meta is helping to build the metaverse, a place where we’ll play and connect in 3D. Welcome to the next chapter of social connection.

"The names of the apps that we build—Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp—will remain the same.”

Additional reporting by PA

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