(WGHP) — Facebook is planning a company name change sometime next week to shift focus to a concept officials with the company call “the metaverse,” according to the Verge.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to address the name change on Oct. 28 during the company’s annual Connect conference, but the reveal could happen sooner.
The intent behind the name change is to pivot Facebook away from being recognized as a social media platform and to associate it with a larger range of apps that Facebook’s parent company oversees, including Instagram, Whatsapp, Oculus and more.
Facebook reportedly has over 10,000 employees working on hardware which Zuckerberg says will be as widely available as smartphones such as AR glasses.
“We will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company,” Zuckerberg told the Verge over the summer.
Rebranding Facebook could also serve to take the attention away from the scrutiny the company has received recently and focus more on Zuckerberg’s futuristic projects.
Frances Haugen, 37, is a whistleblower who leaked internal data that apparently shows the tech giant puts profits over the wellbeing of people as well as promotes division. She accuses that the platform knew for years of the site’s harmful effects on young teens and promotion of hateful content online.
“If they change the algorithm to be safer, they will make less money,” Haugen said during an exclusive interview with “60 Minutes.”
Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill say it’s time the government steps in to hold Facebook accountable.
“We clearly need regulation,” said Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Massachusetts.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that President Joe Biden also supports reforms.
Facebook remains on the defense.
While testifying before senators, Facebook’s head of global safety Antigone Davis downplayed internal findings that showed Instagram — which is owned by Facebook — promoted addiction and low self-esteem among teens.
The platform also announced it will delay the launch of a version of Instagram designed for children under 13.
Right now, lawmakers have put out several proposals to reign in on how the social media platform promotes certain content. Others say they are wary of going overboard and don’t want to stifle innovation.