During today’s Facebook Connect 2021 event, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will change its name to Meta.
The rebranding is supposed to reflect the company’s focus on building its metaverse, a persistent virtual reality experience with its own economy that Zuckerberg himself described during the event as an embodiment of the internet.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about our identity as we begin this next chapter. Facebook is one of the most used products in the history of the world. It is an iconic social media brand, but increasingly it just doesn’t encompass everything that we do,” said Zuckerberg during the keynote.
“To reflect who we are and what we hope to build, I’m proud to announce that starting today, our company is now called Meta. Now we have a new North Start to help bring the metaverse to life. And we have a new name that reflects the full breadth of what we do and the future that we want to build,” he added.
Meta comes from the greek prefix μετα-, and it means “beyond” or “after,” a fitting name for a company that wants to create the foundation for a fully realized virtual world of worlds, where people from anywhere could interact with one another in ways that are not possible today on the internet.
Zuckerberg explained that the rebranding doesn’t affect the company’s products and their brands, which means that Facebook as a social networking service will still be called Facebook. He also said that, over time, it won’t be necessary to use Facebook in order to use Meta’s other products, such as its virtual reality headsets.
From the keynote, it was evident that Zuckerberg and his colleagues are keenly aware of Facebook’s tarnished reputation and the negative impact it could have on the willingness of users to join the company on its quest to build the next generation of the internet.