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Facebook Changes Name to Meta in Embrace of Virtual Reality

Facebook Inc. is re-branding itself Meta, decoupling its corporate identity from the eponymous social network mired in toxic content, and highlighting a shift to an emerging computing platform focused on virtual reality.

“The metaverse is the next frontier,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in a presentation at Facebook’s Connect conference, held virtually on Thursday. “From now on, we’re going to be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first.”

Facebook’s name change is the most definitive signal so far of the company’s intention to stake its future on a new computing platform — the metaverse, an idea born in the imaginations of sci-fi novelists. In Facebook’s vision, people will congregate and communicate by entering virtual environments, whether they’re talking with colleagues in a boardroom or hanging out with friends in far-flung corners of the world.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday at the company’s Connect event that the social media platform’s new name will be Meta. “We are a company that builds technology to connect,” Zuckerberg said. “Together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy.”

He said the name Facebook doesn’t fully encompass everything the company does. “Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product,” he said. “But over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company.”

Zuckerberg owns the Twitter handle @meta and meta.com, which now redirects to a welcome page on Facebook that outlines the changes.

As The Verge first reported on October 19th, the rebrand is part of the company’s efforts to shift gears away from being known as just a social media company to focus on Zuckerberg’s plans for building the metaverse. In July, he told The Verge that over the next several years, Facebook would “effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”

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