Facebook's Zuckerberg announces company rebranding as 'Meta'

Social media giant Facebook has announced it will be known as Meta going forward. Beset by numerous scandals over the past few weeks, the company hopes to transition to “being a metaverse company” rather than a social media firm.

Mired in numerous antitrust probes, battling investigations in multiple countries, and desperately trying to defuse the revelations from an explosive series of internal document leaks, Facebook hinted earlier this month that it would be taking on a new direction based on an immersive "metaverse" experience.

“We are a company that builds technology to connect,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared when announcing the name change on Thursday during the company’s Connect event. 

“Together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy.”

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While Zuckerberg has not yet revealed full details of the coming metaverse, the 'Meta' subsite on Facebook’s home page describes it as “the next evolution of social connection.”

The CEO can be seen “ascending into the Metaverse” in a video clip shown during his Connect 2021 Keynote speech, in which he stares off into space as his surroundings turn a vaguely computerized shade of blue. 

While it’s not clear when Zuckerberg decided on the name Meta, a company by that name was acquired by his Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in 2017. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, not far from Facebook’s own headquarters, the firm operated a “literature discovery platform” called Meta Science.

Zuckerberg told Verve Times in an interview published Thursday that he had been thinking about rebranding Facebook ever since his acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp (in 2012 and 2014, respectively), but only opted to do so this year. 

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