Facebook has changed its corporate name to Meta as part of a major rebrand. The company said it would better “encompass” what it does, as it broadens its reach beyond social media into areas like virtual reality (VR).
The change does not apply to its individual platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, only the parent company that owns them.
The move follows a series of negative stories about Facebook, based on documents leaked by an ex-employee.
Frances Haugen has accused the company of putting “profits over safety”.
In 2015, Google restructured its company calling its parent firm Alphabet, however, the name has not caught on.
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg announced the new name as he unveiled plans to build a “metaverse” – an online world where people can game, work and communicate in a virtual environment, often using VR headsets.
He said the existing brand could not “possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future”, and needed to change.
“Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards,” he told a virtual conference.
“We’re now looking at and reporting on our business as two different segments, one for our family of apps, and one for our work on future platforms.
“And as part of this, it is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do, to reflect who we are and what we hope to build.”
The word “meta” comes from the Greek word meaning “beyond”.
Facebook said it intends to start trading its shares under the new stock ticker MVRS from 1 December.