Facebook’s highly anticipated rebranding became a reality today, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg announcing that the tech giant has changed its name to Meta.
Zuckerberg announced the name change for Facebook’s parent company during Facebook’s annual Connect conference Thursday, which spotlighted the company’s efforts in augmented and virtual reality. The rebranding to Meta reflects the company’s heightened focus on virtual reality products and services—with Zuckerberg unveiling the new identity after an hour-plus–long presentation highlighting its efforts to build out a VR-enabled “metaverse.”
The Facebook name, he said, “just doesn’t encompass everything we do.”
“Building our social media apps will always be an important focus for us. But right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future,” Zuckerberg said. “Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company. I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.”
The rebranding also comes after a negative few weeks on the public relations front for Facebook, in the wake of a massive leak of internal documents by former employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen that displayed internal conflicts and shortcomings. The damaging revelations from the leak, as well as other public relations disasters in recent years, had led to much speculation that the company would seek to rebrand its identity.
But the name change also reflects an internal shift in the social media giant’s focus and operations. Beginning in the fourth quarter, it will report its earnings results under two operating segments—one comprising its traditional “family of apps” like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and another revolving around its metaverse-focused “reality labs” operations. The Facebook social media service will not be impacted by the rebranding and will retain its name.
Meta will also trade under a new ticker, MVRS, on Nasdaq starting Dec. 1. Its ticker had previously been FB.