The $900 Billion Social Media Giant, Facebook, Is Now Meta

Facebook is changing its corporate name to Meta Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday. The $900 billion company has been synonymous with social media for years but lately has come under fire for its business practices.

The name change is a similar strategy that Google employed in 2015. Google, as it was then known corporately, had become much more than a search engine. They opted to rename the company Alphabet, which acted as a parent company that owned Google, the search engine.

As with Google, the social media platform will keep its name. Facebook has expanded to include Instagram, WhatsApp, and the virtual reality headset Oculus.

“It is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do,” Zuckerberg said. “From now on, we’re going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first.”

The move comes at a time of increased scrutiny of the company over its controversial business practices. According to Business Insider, former Facebook employee Frances Haugen publicly came forward after leaking thousands of documents that showed company executives knew the platform helped spread misinformation for years but did not do enough to combat the negative effects.

Facebook has also faced criticism for how much information on users it collects. In a nod to this Zuckerberg devoted part of his presentation, where he introduced “Metaverse,” to emphasize that the company will center privacy and safety as it builds its new virtual services and hardware.

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“You will get to decide when you want to be with other people, when you want to block someone from appearing in your space or when you want to take a break and teleport to a private place to be alone,” Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg described the metaverse as a three-dimensional virtual space where users can create avatars that represent them. Zuckerberg said the new virtual reality world will allow users to play video games, watch movies, attend concerts, collaborate with colleagues, and gather with friends without leaving their living room.

It makes sense.

The company’s earnings revealed that it was hemorrhaging younger users to rivals like TikTok. Zuckerberg said Monday that he’s “retooling” the company to appeal to younger users and it looks like the metaverse project is his plan.

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Sources: Business Insider, NPR

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