“Starting today, our company is now Meta,” announced Zuckerberg on Thursday during the Facebook Connect livestream event. The new name specifically refers to the company’s commitment to the virtual-reality “metaverse,” which Zuckerberg says he believes will reach 1 billion people within the next ten years. He added that the name Facebook “just doesn’t encompass everything we do” anymore.
“Our mission remains the same—it’s still about bringing people together," he explained. "But now we have a new North Star, to help bring the metaverse to life, and we have a new name that reflects the full breadth of what we do and the future that we want to help build." The announcement of Meta as the rebrand was revealed right at the end of the conference.
Explaining the name change further, the CEO said that the company will now be “metaverse-first, not Facebook-first,” implying that users will not need a Facebook account to utilize its other services and products. "Today we’re seen as a social-media company, but in our DNA is building technology to connect people," said Zuckerberg, "and the metaverse is the next frontier."
The rebrand comes as Zuckerberg and Facebook has faced intense scrutiny, with whistleblower Frances Haugen cautioning the social media site is “tearing our societies apart.” While Zuckerberg has said her comments “misrepresent our work and our motives,” internal documents that surfaced last week show that Facebook failed to combat hateful content in India including isamophobic material and fake news.