Facebook Inc. plans to revamp to a new group name that focuses on Metaverse, The Verge a US tech website reported.
The name change for the parent company and essentially not the social media platform commonly known as “The Blue app” within the company walls will be announced next week citing a source with direct knowledge. The move would likely position the Horizon app as one of the many under the parent company overseeing brands such as Whatsapp, Instagram and virtual reality brand Occulus. This name is meant to signal the tech giants ambition to be known for more than social media with Mark Zuckerberg’s ambition of an ever growing company. The name change will be discussed at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28, 2021 but it could be unveiled sooner, the verge said.
A spokesperson attached to Facebook declined to comment saying “Facebook doesnt comment on rumours or speculations”
According to the Verge, Virtual Reality is the drive for this name change. Occulus products will be a key product in the metaverse, a concept that involves people leading their social and professional lives and interacting through virtual reality using digital avatars. In theory, users could sit around a virtual meeting table with remote colleagues and then walk over to a virtual Star bucks to meet up with a friend. Facebook announced earlier that it would hire 10,000 people in Europe to work on creating the metaverse.
“It reflects the broadening out of the Facebook business. And secondly, I do not think that Facebook’s brand is probably the greatest given all the events in the last three years or so..” internet analyst James Cordwell at Atlantic Equities commented. The name change would help to separate the futuristic work Zuckerberg foresees and the recent scrutiny that Facebook has been under. Facebook has experienced scrutiny from global lawmakers over its content moderation and harms linked to its platform. This will probably be a dramatic break from this past.
“Having a different parent brand will guard against this negative association transferring to a new brand…” Shankha Basu, an associate professor of Marketing at Leeds University commented. In response to the allegations, Mark Zuckerberg quoted in a blogpost ”At the heart of these accusations is the idea that we prioritize profit over human safety and well being which is just not true” Facebook has aggressively pushed back against the claims, calling many of them ”misleading”.
Facebooks rebranding is not the first. In 2015 google rebranded under the parent company Alphabet, a look to break into the new fields of tech such as self driving cars. Datsun once rebranded to Nissan among others.