Breaking News
Black Friday SALE: Up to 54% off InvestingPro! Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Facebook changes name to Meta as it refocuses on virtual reality

Stock MarketsOct 29, 2021 03:02AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg addresses the audience on "the challenges of protecting free speech while combating hate speech online, fighting misinformation, and political data privacy and security," at a forum hosted by Georgetow 2/3

By Elizabeth Culliford and Sheila Dang

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is now called Meta, the company said on Thursday, in a rebrand that focuses on building the "metaverse," a shared virtual environment that it bets will be the successor to the mobile internet.

The name change comes as the world's largest social media company battles criticisms from lawmakers and regulators over its market power, algorithmic decisions and the policing of abuses on its services.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the company's live-streamed virtual and augmented reality conference, said the new name reflected its work investing in the metaverse, rather than its namesake social media service, which will continue to be called Facebook.

The metaverse is a term coined in the dystopian novel "Snow Crash" three decades ago and now attracting buzz in Silicon Valley. It refers broadly to the idea of a shared virtual realm which can be accessed by people using different devices.

"Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can't possibly represent everything that we're doing today, let alone in the future," said Zuckerberg.

The company, which has invested heavily in augmented and virtual reality, said the change would bring together its different apps and technologies under one new brand. It said it would not change its corporate structure.

The tech giant, which reports about 2.9 billion monthly users, has faced increasing scrutiny in recent years from global lawmakers and regulators.

In the latest controversy, whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked documents which she said showed the company chose profit over user safety. Haugen has in recent weeks testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee and lawmakers in the UK's Parliament. Zuckerberg earlier this week said the documents were being used to paint a "false picture."

The company said in a blog post that it intends to start trading under the new stock ticker it has reserved, MVRS, on Dec. 1. On Thursday, it unveiled a new sign at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, replacing its thumbs-up "Like" logo with a blue infinity shape.

Facebook shares closed 1.5% higher at $316.92 on Thursday.

TARNISHED REPUTATION

Facebook said this week that its hardware division Facebook Reality Labs, which is responsible for AR and VR efforts, would become a separate reporting unit and that its investment in it would reduce this year's total operating profit by about $10 billion.

This year, the company created a product team in this unit focused on the metaverse and it recently announced plans to hire 10,000 employees in Europe over the next five years to work on the effort.

In an interview with tech publication the Information, Zuckerberg said he has not considered stepping down as CEO, and has not thought "very seriously yet" about spinning off this unit.

The division will now be called Reality Labs, its head Andrew "Boz" Bosworth said on Thursday. The company will also stop using the Oculus branding for its VR headsets, instead calling them "Meta" products.

The name change, the plan for which was first reported by the Verge, is a significant rebrand for Facebook, but not its first. In 2019 it launched a new logo to create a distinction between the company and its social app.

The company's reputation has taken multiple hits in recent years, including over its handling of user data and its policing of abuses such as health misinformation, violent rhetoric and hate speech. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has also filed an antitrust lawsuit alleging anticompetitive practices.

"While it'll help alleviate confusion by distinguishing Facebook's parent company from its founding app, a name change doesn't suddenly erase the systemic issues plaguing the company," said Mike Proulx, research director at market research firm Forrester.

The plans to phase out the Facebook name even from products like video calling device Portal show the company is eager to prevent the unprecedented scrutiny from hurting the rest of its apps, said Prashant Malaviya, a marketing professor at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.

"Without a doubt, (the Facebook name) is definitely damaged and toxic," he said.

Zuckerberg said the new name, coming from the Greek word for "beyond," symbolized there was always more to build. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey on Thursday tweeted out a different definition "referring to itself or to the conventions of its genre; self-referential."

Zuckerberg said the new name also reflects that over time, users will not need to use Facebook to use the company's other services.

In 2015, Google reorganized to create a new holding company called Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc, as the popular search engine broke into new fields such as self-driving cars, high-speed broadband and expanded its cloud business. Snapchat also rebranded to Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) in 2016, the same year it launched its first pair of smart glasses.

Facebook, which this year launched its own pair of smart glasses https://www.reuters.com/technology/facebook-unveils-its-first-smart-glasses-2021-09-09 with Ray-Ban, announced a slew of new AR and VR product updates during Connect. These included a way for people using its Oculus VR headset to call friends using Facebook Messenger and for people to invite others to a social version of their home, dubbed "Horizon Home."

Zuckerberg also showed video demos of what the metaverse could look like, with people connecting as avatars and being transported to digital versions of various places and time periods. He said that the metaverse would need to be built with safety and privacy in mind.

Facebook changes name to Meta as it refocuses on virtual reality
 

Related Articles

What to Make of the Recent Stock Market Pullback?
What to Make of the Recent Stock Market Pullback? By StockNews - Nov 27, 2021

I had written up a commentary that I intended to send out this morning that was going to focus on some bigger-picture, strategic items related to market cycles and developing...

Canada's Shopify records Black Friday sales up 21%
Canada's Shopify records Black Friday sales up 21% By Reuters - Nov 27, 2021

(Reuters) - Canadian e-commerce company Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) Inc recorded worldwide sales of nearly $2.9 billion on Black Friday, an increase of about 21% in comparison to last...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (17)
Todd Gray
Todd Gray Oct 29, 2021 10:52AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I think the people will egest all this tech insanity, and return to the real world. Earth and healthy natural living is better than any artificial world. Looking forward to the end of that very important, popup, banner ad peddler, Facebook. Wow! An ad peddler.
Samantha Sa
Samantha Sa Oct 29, 2021 12:45AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I have the creepy feeling that avatars in a global virtual playground is the beginning of the end.
Buffett Advisor
Buffett Advisor Oct 28, 2021 11:49PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
This company will plummett.
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour Oct 28, 2021 11:03PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
H'o;m-o -Sapien is a dirty word. Only in the United Corporations of America. UCA! UCA! UCA!
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour Oct 28, 2021 11:01PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Create umbrella company. Transfer most of FB's wealth into it. Let FB's enemies set it aflame. Average domesticated ********sapien doesn't get it. Thinks some kind of justice is accomplished. Rich get richer. Poor get poorer. Democracy further watered down. Media companies sell it. So what's new?
Jo Pa
Jo Pa Oct 28, 2021 9:46PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Thanks, I'll actively avoid all Meta products as well.
Ferdinando Riboni
Ferdinando Riboni Oct 28, 2021 9:11PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
it should be called " Censered"
Jokers R Us
Jokers R Us Oct 28, 2021 7:58PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
So people disgusted by big techs privacy violations and censorship are somehow going to return for virtual reality? Yeah OK...
Umar Sadiq
Umar Sadiq Oct 28, 2021 6:19PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
nice one us government thanks
John Laurens
John Laurens Oct 28, 2021 4:51PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Oooh! Can't wait to spend actual money on anything this little zucker makes.. lmfao
Clay Douglass
Clay Douglass Oct 28, 2021 3:44PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Let's go mark!
Joe Zhang
Joe Zhang Oct 28, 2021 3:44PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
simp
Warren Wesley
Warren Wesley Oct 28, 2021 2:41PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
name change is a dodge. call Facebook anything you want. still woke
andrew cando
andrew cando Oct 28, 2021 2:36PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
FYI, facebook was initially funded by the CIA
Sudanes Solidarty Charity
Sudanes Solidarty Charity Oct 28, 2021 2:35PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
very good
CHIGOZIE URUAKPA
CHIGOZIE URUAKPA Oct 28, 2021 2:16PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I want to develop.
Paul Sutton
paulsmith007 Oct 28, 2021 1:55PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
i wonder if his mother slaps him for being such an ugly little man?
Edward Chong
Edward Chong Oct 28, 2021 1:55PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
haha u are very mean.
Vince Brooks
Caspian Oct 28, 2021 1:55PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
His ugliness is in his heart... His mother is not fooled by his money.
mark twain
mark twain Oct 28, 2021 1:46PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Good luck protecting free speech while combating "hate speech" and "misinformation". Free speech is there to protect the latter two.
Jokers R Us
Jokers R Us Oct 28, 2021 1:46PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
They don't care, shut up and obey
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email