Facebook revealed its new corporate name on Thursday, rebranding the company that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp as “Meta.”
The tech giant’s old name just “doesn’t encompass everything that we do,” founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a lengthy online event.
The new name is part of Zuckerberg’s long-term push to emphasize the “metaverse” — a virtual reality world that where users can socialize, work, play games and create art.
The “Meta” logo includes what appears to be a warped version of the infinity symbol.
The change comes as Facebook seeks to shake a torrent of scandals after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked company research showing Instagram’s negative effect on teens’ mental health, Facebook’s struggles to stop human trafficking on its platform and the widespread sharing of false news about elections on its sites.
A defiant Zuckerberg — who has not publicly responded to calls to testify in Congress amid the scandals — indirectly addressed the issue during the event and accused critics of being stuck in the past.
“With all the scrutiny and public debate, some of you might be wondering why we’re doing this right now,” said Zuckerberg. “Some people will say that this isn’t a time to focus on the future, and I want to acknowledge that there are important issues to work on in the present. There always will be.
“For many people, I’m not sure there will be a good time to focus on the future,” added Zuckerberg in an apparently sarcastic jab.