CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that Facebook the company is changing its name to Meta to reflect its growing focus on the metaverse.
He made the announcement during the company’s annual Connect conference streaming Thursday.
“Our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything we’re doing today let alone the future,” Zuckerberg said.
The new holding company Meta will encompass Facebook, its largest subsidiary, as well as apps such as Instagram, WhatsApp and the virtual reality brand Oculus.
Facebook has invested $10bn in its metaverse project in 2021 – double what it spends on safety and security on the platform. In recent earnings reports, the company announced its virtual reality segment had grown so substantially it would now report its revenue separately, dividing its products into two categories.
In a presentation from his home, Zuckerberg outlined his vision of the metaverse as a digital world in which users will feel they are with one another and have a “sense of presence” despite being far apart.
The platform would allow users to customize their avatars and digital spaces, decorating a digital office with pictures, videos and even books.
“When I send my parents a video with my kids, they’re going to feel like they’re right in the moment with us not peering through a little window,” he said.
According to Zuckerberg, the metaverse extends beyond traditional social media to provide virtual environments where people can interact in far more immersive ways. The metaverse strategy also encompasses ecommerce initiatives, which Zuckerberg has said will help reduce its reliance on competitors like Apple and Google.