Facebook plans to change its company name next week to highlight its focus on building the metaverse, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
The expected name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg will speak about at Facebook’s annual Connect conference on October 28, signals the social media giant’s ambition to be known more than just for social media. Renaming the blue Facebook app would likely make it one of many products under a parent company that oversees companies like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and more under its umbrella.
Facebook has hired more than 10,000 people to build hardware like AR glasses, which Zuckerberg believes will eventually become as widespread as smartphones.
A renaming will also further separate Zuckerberg’s futuristic work from the intense scrutiny that Facebook is currently under for its activities on its social media platform.
Frances Haugen, a former employee who turned out to be a whistleblower, recently leaked a series of damning classified documents to The Wall Street Journal and testified before Congress. Antitrust regulators in the U.S. and around the world are trying to dismantle the company, and public confidence in Facebook’s operations is declining.
Facebook’s new corporate name is a closely guarded secret within its walls, but one possible name may have something to do with Horizon, the name of the as-yet-unreleased VR version of Facebook-meets-Roblox that the tech giant has developed in recent years.
It was recently changed to Horizon Worlds, shortly after Facebook held a workplace collaboration demonstration called Horizon Workrooms.
Facebook has gradually laid the groundwork for a greater emphasis on the next generation of technology. It recently set up a dedicated metaverse team and announced that the head of AR and VR, Andrew Bosworth, will be promoted to chief technology officer. Just a few days ago, the company announced plans to hire 10,000 more employees to focus on the metaverse in Europe.