Facebook rebrands as Meta to emphasise metaverse vision

Zuckerberg says he expects the metaverse to reach a billion people within the next decade



Seen on the screen of a device in Sausalito, California, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address during a virtual event on Thursday. — AP
Seen on the screen of a device in Sausalito, California, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address during a virtual event on Thursday. — AP

By AP

Published: Thu 28 Oct 2021, 10:37 PM

Last updated: Fri 17 Jun 2022, 4:43 PM

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company is rebranding itself as Meta in an effort to encompass its virtual-reality vision for the future, what Zuckerberg calls the “metaverse”.

Skeptics point out that it also appears to be an attempt to change the subject from the Facebook Papers, a leaked document trove that has revealed the ways Facebook ignored internal reports and warnings of the harms its social network created or magnified across the world.

Zuckerberg said he expected the metaverse to reach a billion people within the next decade. The metaverse will be a place people will be able to interact, work and create products and content in what he hopes will be a new ecosystem that creates “millions” of jobs for creators.

The announcement comes amid an existential crisis for Facebook. It faces legislative and regulatory scrutiny in many parts of the world following revelations in the Facebook Papers.

In explaining the rebrand, Zuckerberg said the name “Facebook” just doesn’t encompass “everything we do” any more. In addition to its primary social network, that now includes Instagram, Messenger, its Quest VR headset, its Horizon VR platform and more.

“Today we are seen as a social media company,” Zuckerberg said. “But in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people.”

Metaverse, he said, is the new way. Zuckerberg, who is a fan of classics, explained that the word “meta” comes from the Greek word “beyond.”

The name change was announced by Mark Zuckerberg during the virtual reality and augmented reality conference Facebook Connect.

"I know that some people will say that this isn't a time to focus on the future, and I want to acknowledge that there are important issues to work on in the present. There always will be," Zuckerberg said in a video ahead of his keynote.


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