According to The Verge, Facebook is planning to change its company name to reflect its focus on building the metaverse, a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet.
Mark Zuckerberg should announce the new name at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th, according to the American media. This initiative reflects the tech giant's desire to no longer be considered solely as a social media with all the ills that entail and would replace the Facebook app as one of the components of a larger whole.
This move obviously recalls the case of Google. In 2015, Google reorganized entirely under the holding company Alphabet, partly to signal that it was no longer just a search engine, but a sprawling conglomerate active in many tech sectors.
In July, Mark Zuckerberg has laid out his vision to transform Facebook from a social media network into a “metaverse company” in the next five years. "I believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet, and creating this product group is the next step in our journey to help build it," he said.
Facebook has invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality, developing hardware such as its Oculus VR headsets and working on AR glasses and wristband technologies.
On 19 August, Facebook also announced the launch of the Horizon Workrooms virtual reality remote collaboration application, which allows up to 16 people (represented by avatars) to gather in a virtual meeting room to exchange, share documents and make decisions.
More recently, on October 17th, Nick Clegg, VP Global Affairs, and Javier Olivan, VP Central Products, announced in a statement a plan to create 10,000 new high-skilled jobs within the European Union (EU) over the next five years in order to build the metaverse, “the next computing platform”. This plan is also a way for Facebook to put down more roots in Europe.