Facebook Changes Name To Meta

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Social media behemoth Facebook, Inc (FB) announced on Thursday that it will be known as Meta, a social technology company. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the company confirmed the name during its annual Connect festival. Zuckerberg, among other things, also announced that the company is going to retire the Oculus brand name.

The name change was on the cards for a long time and the name Metaverse, which sounds like a dimension from a Sci-Fi movie, was also heard from Zuckerberg himself back in July when he told The Verge, "We will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company."

Walking in the heel of Google, which created a holding company back in 2015 named Alphabet (GOOGL), the name Meta distances Zuckerberg's company from being just a social media company to an overarching entity that looks over multiple social media platforms as well creates futuristic tech.

The company will start trading under the ticker MVRS from December 1.

Building up to the announcement, Zuckerberg said, "I've been thinking a lot about our identity as we begin this next chapter. Facebook is one of the most used products in the history of the world. It is an iconic social media brand, but increasingly it just doesn't encompass everything that we do."

He went on to add, "Today we're seen as a social media company, but in our DNA, we are a company that builds technology to connect people. And the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started."

Zuckerberg explained that he got the inspiration for the name from the Greek word "Meta" which means "beyond." "For me, it symbolizes that there is always more to build," said the 37-year-old.

Along with the change in name, the company has also gone through a logo overhaul, changing the thumbs up to a blue infinity logo. Following the announcement, Zuckerberg changed his job title to "Founder and CEO at Meta."

Facebook has been under immense pressure since the start of the month after a huge chunk of internal documents were leaked to the government by former employee Frances Haugen. But Zuckerberg was in no mood to get bogged down by the graver stories.

Referring to whether this is the right time for the name shift, he said, "I know that some people will say that this isn't a time to focus on the future, and I want to acknowledge that there are important issues to work on in the present. There always will be. So for many people, I'm just not sure there ever will be a good time to focus on the future. But I also know that there are a lot of you who feel the same way that I do. We live for what we're building. And while we make mistakes, we keep learning and building and moving forward."
At its core, it is based on the idea that by creating a greater sense of "virtual presence," interacting online can become much closer to the experience of interacting in person.

The company is planning to create 10,000 new high-skilled jobs within the European Union over the next five years to help build the metaverse, a new concept of a digital world.

However, the company has decided to retire the name Oculus for its VR headsets and changed the name to Meta Quest. Messenger, Facebook's messaging platform will also be available for Meta Quests which will have a serious overhaul in the coming days.

"Your devices won't be the focal point of your attention anymore," added Zuckerberg. "We're starting to see a lot of these technologies coming together in the next five or 10 years. A lot of this is going to be mainstream and a lot of us will be creating and inhabiting worlds that are just as detailed and convincing as this one, on a daily basis."

Meta promises to break away from "the lack of choice and high fees" that popular tech companies are responsible for and want to build an ecosystem "so that millions of people can have a stake in the future, can be rewarded for their work and benefit as the tide rises, not just as consumers, but as creators and developers."

Whether it can actually deliver on the promises or it will crumble under the growing scrutiny and pressure, is the burning question.

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