Following an announcement in July that Facebook would be embarking on a “metaverse” initiative, the social media giant has declared that the company’s new name will be “Meta.”
“Announcing [Meta] — the Facebook company’s new name,” Facebook announced on Twitter. “Meta is helping to build the metaverse, a place where we’ll play and connect in 3D. Welcome to the next chapter of social connection.”
Announcing @Meta — the Facebook company’s new name. Meta is helping to build the metaverse, a place where we’ll play and connect in 3D. Welcome to the next chapter of social connection. pic.twitter.com/ywSJPLsCoD
— Facebook (@Facebook) October 28, 2021
The name change was formally announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the company’s virtual reality and augmented reality conference, Facebook Connect.
“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,” Zuckerberg said, according to CNN. “It is an iconic social media brand, but increasingly it just doesn’t encompass everything that we do.
“Today we’re seen as a social media company,” he added, “but in our DNA, we are a company that builds technology to connect people. And the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started.”
“I know that 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,” Zuckerberg said. “So for many people, I’m just not sure there ever will be a good time to focus on the future. But I also know that there are a lot of you who feel the same way that I do.”
“We live for what we’re building,” Zuckerberg added. “And while we make mistakes, we keep learning and building and moving forward.”
“Your devices won’t be the focal point of your attention anymore,” he said. “We’re starting to see a lot of these technologies coming together in the next five or 10 years. A lot of this is going to be mainstream and a lot of us will be creating and inhabiting worlds that are just as detailed and convincing as this one, on a daily basis.”
“Meta’s focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses,” the company stated in a blog post.
“The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world,” the post continued. “It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company.”
In September, in a blog post titled, “Building the Metaverse Responsibly,” Facebook announced a “$50 million investment in global research and program partners to ensure these products are developed responsibly.”
“The ‘metaverse’ is a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you. You’ll be able to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create, and more. It’s not necessarily about spending more time online — it’s about making the time you do spend online more meaningful,” explained VP of Facebook Reality Labs, Andrew Bosworth, and VP of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg. “The metaverse isn’t a single product one company can build alone. Just like the internet, the metaverse exists whether Facebook is there or not. And it won’t be built overnight. Many of these products will only be fully realized in the next 10-15 years. While that’s frustrating for those of us eager to dive right in, it gives us time to ask the difficult questions about how they should be built.”