Social media giant Facebook Inc, which owns popular apps like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, is planning to change its name to reflect that it is no longer a one-app company. According to a report by The Verge, the company is planning to change its company name next week to reflect its focus on building the metaverse.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to talk about the change in the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th. The rebranding of the company will help position the company as a parent company of several groups from social media to hardware development, as the company aims to project itself as a ‘metaverse’ company. In July, Mark Zuckerberg had told The Verge, “We will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”
Another benefit of this rebranding will be separating the CEO from the intense scrutiny that Facebook the social media app received on various issues, including politics. It is expected that after the app is separated from the company by name, Mark Zuckerberg will be able to concentrate on his future plans, instead of getting dragged to controversies related to policies of Facebook. He has already appeared before the Congress and the Senate to answer questions on the apparent bias of the app in favour of left-wing politics.
The new name that Facebook Inc is expected to adopt is not known, as at present it is a closely guarded secret. However, The Verge reports that the possible name could be related to Horizon. It is the name of a virtual reality online video gaming platform that the company is developing.
Another possible name is Meta, according to Samidh Chakrabarti, the company’s former civic integrity chief.
It is notable that the domain Meta.com is already owned by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, while using the Horizon name may have trademark issues. At present, meta.com redirects to meta.org.
It is important to note that only the company Facebook Inc, which owns various group services like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram etc will be changed. The name of the social media platform Facebook, the flagship product of the company, will remain the same as it is not being changed. As the main purpose of the change is to show the difference between the Facebook platform and the company that owns it.
When Facebook Inc changes its name, it will be the second IT major to do so in recent years. In 2015, search giant Google had reorganised the company and formed the holding company as Alphabet Inc, which was Google Inc earlier. It was done to signal that Google was no longer an internet search company, but search was only one of the services that it offers along with many others.
Along with this, Sundar Pichai was made the CEO of Google, with founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin focusing on the holding company Alphabet Inc that has interests in diverse areas like internet services, smartphones, health, fitness wearables, fibre networks, robotics, self-driving vehicles, drones etc.
Facebook Inc also plans to follow the same route, where a holding company will own various services like Facebook, WhatsApp etc and any other future additions. However, it is not known whether Mark Zuckerberg will remain as CEO of the Facebook app or give the responsibility to someone else to focus only on the holding company, like Google Inc did when it transitioned to Alphabet Inc.