Facebook employees gather in front of a banner displaying a new logo and the name ‘Meta’ in front of Facebook’s headquarters on October 28, 2021 in Menlo Park, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
Facebook announced, Thursday, that it changed the name of its company to Meta.
The name change, announced at the Facebook Connect Augmented and Virtual Reality conference, reflects the company’s growing ambitions outside of social media with the metaverse, the classic science fiction term Facebook, now known as Meta, has adopted to describe its vision of working and playing in a virtual world.
“Today we are seen as a social media company, but in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and metaverse is the next frontier just as social networking was when we started,” said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta.
In announcing its name change, the company said the company will also change its stock index from FB to MVRS, effective December 1.
Meta’s stock price is up more than 3% on Thursday.
In July, the company announced the formation of a team that will work on the metaverse. Two months later, the company said it would raise Andrew “Bose” Bosworth, who is currently the company’s chief hardware officer, to the position of chief technology officer in 2022. In its third-quarter earnings results on Monday, the company announced that it would split Facebook Reality Labs, its hardware division. affiliate, to its reporting division, starting in the fourth quarter.
“We hope that over the next decade, Metaverse will reach 1 billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers,” Zuckerberg wrote in a letter Thursday.
Over the past few years, the company has ramped up its hardware efforts, introducing a range of portal video calling devices, launching Ray-Ban Stories glasses and rolling out different versions of Oculus virtual reality headsets. The company has indicated that augmented and virtual reality will be an essential part of its strategy in the coming years.
Meta also said this week that it will spend about $10 billion over the next year developing the technologies needed to build the metaverse.
On Thursday, Zuckerberg also gave a presentation of the company’s ambitions in relation to metaverses.
The demo was a Pixar-like animation that the company hopes to create one day. The demo involved users lounging in space as cartoon-like versions of themselves or fictional characters, such as a robot, representing their virtual selves.
Zuckerberg said a lot of this is out of reach but the company has started working on it. Zuckerberg predicted that elements of the metaverse could become mainstream within five to 10 years. Zuckerberg added that the company expects to “invest several billion dollars for the years to come before the metaverse hits scale.”
“We believe the meta verse will be the successor to the mobile internet,” Zuckerberg said.
In addition, the company announced a new virtual reality headset named Project Cambria. Zuckerberg said the device will be a high-end product available in the “higher price range” that will be released next year.
Meta has also announced the codename for the first fully augmented reality-capable smart glasses, Project Nasaray. The company did not say when the glasses would be released. “We still have ways to go with Nasaray, but we’re making good progress,” Zuckerberg said.
The rebranding also comes after the company grappled with a barrage of news reports over the past month. Those originated from Frances Hogan, the former employee turned whistleblower who released a trove of internal company documents to news outlets, lawmakers and regulators.
Reports show that the company is aware of the many damages caused by its apps and services but is either not correcting the issues or struggling to remedy them. More documents are expected to be shared daily over the coming weeks.
In a call with analysts on Monday, Zuckerberg vigorously refuted allegations and criticism in news reports stemming from the company’s collection of internal documents, Francis Hogan.