From Facebook to Meta, the changes at Zuckerberg's company
Facebook will change its name to Meta going forward.
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On Thursday, Oct. 28, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, announced during a live presentation that his Facebook company that hosts the social networks Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, will now go by Meta. During his presentation he also pointed out what will be the north star for his company: the metaverse.
Zuckerberg explained that the word "Meta" was chosen because it means "beyond" and encapsulates his commitment to building social technologies that take them beyond what is possible today through digitization.
Going forward, the Facebook founder said that the company will report its results in two groups: one for its family of apps (neither of which will be renamed) and another for its future technology efforts. The company said its shares will begin trading under a new symbol, MVRS, on Dec. 1.
"We are a company focused on connecting people. While most others in tech focus on how people interact with technology, we're focused on developing technology so people can interact with each other," Zuckerberg said.
Zuckerberg proposed that Facebook transcend the barriers that have been created within social networks and start working towards the goal of creating a virtual experience, which is encompassed in the term 'metaverse.'
The metaverse represents the next evolution of the way we interact through the Internet. The vision involves issues lik virtual and augmented reality, but also technological tools that support the operation of cryptocurrencies.
"We are at the beginning of the next chapter for the Internet, and it is also the next chapter for our company," Zuckerberg wrote in a founder's letter published at the end of Thursday's event.
According to Zuckerberg's vision, the next social platform will be even more immersive. One where you're no longer just looking at the experience, but "you're in the experience."
"Isn't that the ultimate promise of technology to be together with anyone to be able to teleport anywhere and create an experience of anything?" expressed Zuckerberg.
In the metaverse, users could do "almost anything you can imagine," its founder said. Whether it's meeting friends, playing games, working, exercising, creating and shopping.
While Zuckerberg is aware that the metaverse as he imagines it is far from a palpable reality, the company has been building the foundations for some time. For example, Facebook recently announced investment in Horizon, a virtual social world that remains in a private beta-testing stage.
Name change amid difficulties
The company's name change comes amid a reputation and credibility crisis unlike any other in the company's history.
Just this week, a consortium of more than 12 international media published a series of reports, based on some 10,000 leaked documents, which point out the scale of the social network's problems, as well as the actions it has taken, or failed to take, to improve scenarios around hate speech and misinformation.
All the documents support the same idea: Facebook (now Meta) is aware of the damage and ills that its platform causes in society and does nothing to remedy it. Zuckerberg has also not spoken publicly about it.