The company behind the world’s largest social media platforms has taken on a new name. At Facebook’s annual company-wide Connect conference on Thursday, Oct. 28, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the parent company would be rebranded as Meta.
This is a step toward Zuckerberg’s hope for Facebook to be known as a metaverse company, and as such, the social media giant has adopted Meta as a reference to the fabled next iteration of the internet.
“Today, we are seen as a social media company, but in our DNA, we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started,” Zuckerberg said during the conference, according to CNBC.
Zuckerberg announced plans for a rebrand last week, and made good on his word Thursday with this latest news. Similar to Google becoming Alphabet in 2015, Facebook will be switching up the name of its overarching parent company, while keeping the Facebook platform and brand intact. The company’s other properties — Instagram and WhatsApp — will also live under the Meta umbrella.
In a blog post, the Facebook co-founder noted that “the metaverse will not be created by one company,” but that Facebook — now Meta — hopes to “accelerate the development of the fundamental technologies, social platforms and creative tools to bring the metaverse to life.”
The term “metaverse,” which was coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science-fiction novel Snow Crash, has become widely adopted and adapted in recent years. From its prevalence in Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name, to commonly being used throughout the NFT community, the metaverse has become less of an abstract term born of fiction, and more of a palpable future born hand in hand with web3 technology, as exemplified by Facebook’s latest action.
Decentralization is a goal and value among the various crypto, DeFi and NFT communities and DAOs that continue to cultivate web3 and metaverse technologies, but it remains to be seen how Facebook plans to integrate blockchain technology into its future Meta endeavors.
Yet in seemingly addressing the longstanding controversy surrounding the company and its founder, Zuckerberg has touched briefly on Meta’s sentiment about NFTs and the metaverse. “Privacy and safety need to be built into the metaverse from day one,” says Zuckerberg via his blog post. “This will require not just novel technical work — like supporting crypto and NFT projects in the community — but also new forms of governance.”
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Photo courtesy of Meta.