Facebook has been very clear: they want to become a metaverse company, whatever that future entails. And to that end, a new report says the company is going as far as to rebrand Facebook to something else entirely.
The report comes from The Verge, who says the name change is scheduled to be announced at next week’s Connect conference. Connect is typically where Facebook, Oculus and parts of the business talk about their upcoming developer roadmap, much like Microsoft’s Build, Apple’s WWDC and so on.
This year’s Connect in particular is advertising augmented reality, VR and generally alluding to the metaverse, so it’s not hugely surprising that Facebook has been thinking about a rebrand. Other major tech firms have gone down a similar route as their ambitions outstripped their initial starts. Google’s now part of a larger holding company called Alphabet, for instance, and livestreaming platform Justin.tv changed its name to Twitch to better highlight the gaming-centric audience that was using its services.
I think that this is a persistent, synchronous environment where we can be together, which I think is probably going to resemble some kind of a hybrid between the social platforms that we see today, but an environment where you’re embodied in it.
So it makes sense that Facebook would double down on such a change, even though a rebrand comes at an enormous risk. The Verge reports that the name change could be announced even sooner than Connect — things are a bit up in the air. There’s no word on what the new name might be, although it’s hard not to imagine something with the same vibe as Horizon, Facebook’s social experience that looks awfully like their first crack at a metaverse-like world.
There’s also no doubt the timing is fortuitous for Facebook’s public image, which has been dragged in the dirt thanks to recent whistleblower testimony. The fact that the revelations were driven by a common complaint against Facebook also hasn’t helped — Frances Huagen, the employee who leaked tens of thousands of internal documents, said she was compelled to act after she lost a friend to misinformation spread primarily through Facebook’s network.
[Thanks, The Verge!]