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Scandal-Plagued Facebook Is Rebranding With A New Name And Wants To Focus On Building A ‘Metaverse,’ Whatever That Is

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And if you’re Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, you simply change your company name to something that’s more in line with your goal of “effectively transition[ing] from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.” Yes, that sentence of futurist-leaning, marketing-speak gobbledygook is what Zuck told The Verge back in July. And now they’re reporting that a company name change is afoot, most likely either at or before Facebook Connect, the company’s annual AR/VR conference, which is scheduled to take place on October 28.

According to The Verge’s Alex Heath, who spoke a source with direct knowledge of these social media shenanigans:

“The coming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th, but could unveil sooner, is meant to signal the tech giant’s ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail. The rebrand would likely position the blue Facebook app as one of many products under a parent company overseeing groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more. A spokesperson for Facebook declined to comment for this story.”

It’s possible the name change has been in the works for years, but the timing of the announcement seems suspiciously convenient. It was just a few weeks ago that Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen went scorched Earth on her former employer, and shared how the company’s algorithm favors profits over their audience’s well-being.

This, of course, wouldn’t be the first time a company changed its name in the midst of scandal. Just ask the folks Academi (a.k.a. Blackwater). Nor would it be the first seemingly unnecessary company rebrand (see: New Coke). And while it’s hard to imagine that it could be worse than The Facebook, Zuckerberg has been talking a lot about “the metaverse” lately. Like, a lot.

So New Facebook is probably out. And something painfully pretentious that you only half understand is likely in. In short, what it means for you is that just when you’ve finally taught your grandma the difference between Facebook replies and Facebook DMs, you’re going to have to explain to her why it’s no longer called Facebook.

(Via The Verge)