Social media giant Facebook is planning to rebrand itself with a new name focused on the metaverse, The Verge reported on Tuesday as the tech giant comes under fire from regulators around the world over its business practices.
Citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter, The Verge reported that the social media giant plans to announce the new name next week, adding that Facebook wants to be known for more than social media, according to the tech publication.
In addition to its flagship social media network, Facebook also owns Instagram and WhatsApp. A name change could position the three mega-platforms under an umbrella brand, similar to the structure used by Google, which sits under parent company Alphabet.
The name change may reflect Facebook’s direction. The metaverse refers to efforts to combine virtual and augmented reality technologies in a new online realm.
The idea is to create a space similar to the internet, where users (via digital avatars) can walk around and interact with one another in real time. In theory, users could sit around a virtual meeting table with remote colleagues, and then walk over to a virtual Starbucks to meet up with a friend.
Facebook announced earlier this week that it would hire 10,000 people in Europe to work on creating the metaverse.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to discuss the name change at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28, according to The Verge.