Facebook said Thursday it was changing its corporate name to Meta.
“From now on, we’ll be metaverse first, not Facebook first,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during the company’s Oculus Connect event. “Over time, you won’t need to use Facebook to use our other services.”
The company will begin trading under the new stock ticker MVRS on December 1, Facebook said in a press release.
The much-anticipated name change comes a week after The Verge reported the company was rebranding to focus on its “metaverse” mission.
Zuckerberg publicly announced in July that he wanted Facebook to become a “metaverse company eventually.” Last week, the company said it would hire 10,000 people across Europe to build out its metaverse project.
The metaverse is a virtual space where people can interact digitally using avatars.
Facebook’s main social app will exist underneath the new brand name, as will the rest of the company’s products, like Horizon and WhatsApp. It’s a bit like Google existing under the Alphabet umbrella.
Despite reports the company would undergo a major corporate restructure, like Alphabet and Google, Facebook said its “corporate structure is not changing.” Its financial reporting will now be broken into two operating segments: its Reality Labs and its Family of Apps.
“Now, we have a new north star,” Zuckerberg said. “From now on, we are going to be Metaverse first, not Facebook first.”
Facebook has faced a rocky few weeks after leaked documents exposed the company’s controversial business practices. It has increasingly emphasized its metaverse mission.
But while experts previously told Insider that the metaverse emphasis was a “genius” marketing move, the company isn’t free from the problems that have caused such widespread public backlash. And experts told Insider the name change wouldn’t be enough to save it from the torrent of criticism.
The company is likely trying to “divert the conversation from their current problems onto the metaverse, which is exciting and futuristic,” Anne Olderog, a senior partner at the consulting firm Vivaldi with 20 years of brand-strategy experience, said.
“And truly, nobody understands” the metaverse, which is “also a brilliant move,” Olderog added.
She also said the name change was exciting and created momentum but that the public could “definitely see through things like that at this stage.”