Facebook changes company name to Meta

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Facebook announced Thursday that it had changed the name of its company to Meta.

The name change was announced at the Facebook Connect augmented and virtual reality conference. The new name reflects the company’s growing ambitions beyond social media. Facebook, now known as Meta, adopted the new moniker, based on the sci-fi term metaverse, to describe its take on work and play in a virtual world.

“Today we’re considered a social media company, but in our DNA we are a company that builds technologies to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier, just like social media was when. we started, ”said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta.

The company also said in announcing the new name that it will change its ticker from FB to MVRS, effective December 1.

The Meta share price closed on Thursday.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

In July, the company announced the formation of a team to work on the Metaverse. Two months later, the company announced it would raise Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, who currently heads the company’s hardware division, to chief technology officer in 2022. And in its third quarter results As of Monday, the company announced that it will split Reality Labs, its hardware division, into its own reporting segment, starting in the fourth quarter.

“Our hope is that over the next decade, the metaverse will reach one billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars in digital commerce, and support the jobs of millions of creators and developers,” Zuckerberg wrote in a letter. Thursday.

In recent years, the company has stepped up its efforts in hardware, introducing a line of Portal video calling devices, launching the Ray-Ban Stories glasses, and rolling out various versions of the Oculus virtual reality headsets. The company has indicated that augmented and virtual reality will be a key part of its strategy in the years to come.

The company also said this week that it would spend around $ 10 billion over the next year to develop the technologies needed to build the Metaverse.

Zuckerberg provided a demonstration of the company’s ambitions for the Metaverse on Thursday.

The demo was a Pixar-like software animation that the company hopes to someday create. The demo featured users hanging out in space as cartoon-like versions of themselves or fantastic characters, like a robot, who represent their virtual selves. Zuckerberg used some of it to accuse other tech companies of stifling innovation with high development costs.

Zuckerberg said much of that is a long way off, with elements of the Metaverse potentially becoming dominant in five to 10 years. The company expects to “invest several billion dollars in the coming years before the metaverse reaches scale,” Zuckerberg added.

“We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile Internet,” Zuckerberg said.

Additionally, Meta has announced a new virtual reality headset named Project Cambria. The device will be a high-end product available at a higher price than the Quest 2 headset at $ 299, the company said in a blog post. Project Cambria will be released next year, Zuckerberg said.

Meta also announced the code name for its first fully AR-compatible smart glasses: Project Nazare. The glasses are “still a few years old,” the company said in a blog post. Zuckerberg said “we still have a long way to go with Nazare, but we are making good progress”.

The rebranding comes amid a barrage of reporting over the past month after Frances Haugen, a former employee turned whistleblower, released a wealth of internal company documents to news outlets, lawmakers and regulators .

Reports show that the company is aware of the extensive damage caused by its apps and services, but is not fixing issues or struggling to resolve them. Other documents are expected to be shared daily over the next few weeks.

During a call with analysts on Monday, Zuckerberg vehemently refuted the claims and criticisms in the reports from the documents provided by Haugen.

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