Facebook On The Verge Of Changing Its Name

Facebook is considering changing its name to focus more on the metaverse.

According to The Verge, which cited a source with intimate knowledge of the situation, the name change will be announced next week.

According to the source, the plan would likely portray the flagship app as one of several products under a parent business that oversees brands like Instagram and WhatsApp. When Google (GOOGL.O) reorganized into an Alphabet holding company in 2015, it used this structure.

Facebook said it does not comment on “rumor or speculation.”

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has been talking up the metaverse, a digital world where people can move between different devices and communicate in a virtual environment, since July and the company has invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality, developing hardware such as its Oculus VR headsets and working on AR glasses and wristband technologies.

The buzzy word, first coined in a dystopian novel three decades earlier, is popular in Silicon Valley and has been referenced by other tech firms such as Microsoft. The popular children’s game Roblox (RBLX.N) describes itself as a metaverse company. Epic Games’ Fortnite is also considered to be part of the metaverse.

Zuckerberg plans to talk about the name change at the company’s annual Connect conference on Oct. 28, but it could be unveiled sooner, the Verge said.

The move would come at a time when Facebook is under wide-ranging scrutiny from global lawmakers and regulators over its content moderation practices and harms linked to its platforms, with internal documents leaked by a whistleblower forming the basis for a U.S. Senate hearing last week.

Reporting by Shivam Patel and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Juby Babu; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Anil D’Silva.

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