Facebook announced on Thursday it will change its name to Meta as the company seeks to expand beyond social media.
The name change was announced during Facebook’s augmented and virtual reality conference.
“The next platform will be even more immersive — an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build,” Zuckerberg added.
Meta’s goals are both innovative and far-reaching.
“Our hope is that within the next decade, the metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers,” Zuckerberg wrote.
The name change from Facebook to Meta will also apply to its stock ticker acronym, which will switch from FB to MVRS on Dec. 1, the company said in the announcement.
The switch to Meta comes amid a growing number of controversies regarding Facebook.
Most recently, thousands of pages of leaked Facebook documents revealed details regarding regulations and internal changes.
In addition, whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, appeared before lawmakers in Washington to share testimony of the social media platform’s questionable practices.
Facebook-owned Instagram also faced controversy when it was revealed that company research regarding children on the platform showed a negative impact on their mental health.
“A series of articles published by the Wall Street Journal has focused on some of the most difficult issues we grapple with as a company — from content moderation and vaccine misinformation, to algorithmic distribution and the well-being of teens,” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, wrote in a Sept. 18 blog post.
“At the heart of this series is an allegation that is just plain false: that Facebook conducts research and then systematically and willfully ignores it if the findings are inconvenient for the company,” he wrote.
Clegg’s comments come in response to the Wall Street Journal investigation revealing Facebook’s knowledge of how its platform negatively affects users.
He argued that the investigation was framed to portray Facebook as attempting to conceal controversial or unpopular research findings and practices and that the reporting “conferred egregiously false motives to Facebook’s leadership and employees.”
“It’s a claim which could only be made by cherry-picking selective quotes from individual pieces of leaked material in a way that presents complex and nuanced issues as if there is only ever one right answer,” Clegg wrote.
Facebook’s platform also has been criticized over growing concerns regarding censorship of COVID-19 information as well as conservative content.
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