According to a source with direct knowledge of the matter, Facebook plans to rebrand the company with a new name next week to reflect its focus on building the ‘metaverse’, The Verge reported on Tuesday.
The possible name change CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to discuss at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28 reportedly signals the tech giant’s ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail.
The announcement comes in a time when Facebook faces a mounting amount of criticism over political advertising bias on the platform and failures to tackle hate speech and misinformation.
It also comes in the light of the announcement that Facebook it is planning to create 10,000 jobs in the EU to help establish the ‘metaverse’ over the next five years.
Although the company’s new name hasn’t been not specified the future brand might be Horizon, the still-unreleased VR product that the company has been creating for the past few years, presenting the blue Facebook app as one of many products managed by a parent business.
The application’s name was changed to Horizon Worlds shortly after Facebook presented last month a version for workplace collaboration dubbed Horizon Workrooms.
Zuckerberg pointed in an interview with this summer that the “metaverse” was going to be a big part of the company and big part of “the next chapter for the way that the internet evolves after the mobile internet.”
The rebrand could also serve as a strategy to separate Zuckerberg’s futuristic work from the intense scrutiny Facebook is currently under in the US as well as in the EU for the way the social platform operates.
Facebook has been under fire lately for a myriad of reasons in the US after the report that Instagram has been aware for years the toxic effect its app has on teenagers’ mental health followed by the Facebook whistleblower hearing at Congress, as well as the questions into Facebook’s upfront knowledge about the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
Facebook also faced problems in Europe this summer after the European Commission launched a probe over the company’s alleged breaking of EU competition rules by using data collected from advertisers on its platform to compete against them, while the Competition and Markets Authority in UK is investigating Facebook’s use of data.