October 19 (Reuters) – Social media giant Facebook Inc (FB.O) plans to change its name with a new name next week, The Verge reported on Tuesday, citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to speak about the name change at the company’s annual Connect conference on Oct. 28, but it could be revealed sooner, the Verge reported.
In response, Facebook said it did not comment on “rumors or speculation.”
The news comes at a time when the company faces increasing scrutiny from the U.S. government over its business practices. Lawmakers on both sides blasted the company, illustrating growing anger in Congress against Facebook. Read more
The rebranding would position Facebook’s social media app as one of many products from a parent company, which will also oversee groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and more, the Verge report added.
It’s not uncommon in Silicon Valley for companies to change their names as they try to expand their services.
Google established Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) as a holding company in 2015 to expand beyond its research and advertising business, to oversee various other businesses ranging from its autonomous vehicle unit and technology to health to the provision of Internet services in remote areas.
The rebranding will also reflect Facebook’s focus on building the so-called metaverse, an online world where people can use different devices to move and communicate in a virtual environment, according to the report.
Facebook has invested heavily in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and intends to connect its nearly three billion users through multiple devices and applications.
The company also on Tuesday announced plans to create 10,000 jobs in the European Union over the next five years to help build the metaverse.
Zuckerberg has been talking about metavers since July, and the buzzword, first coined in a dystopian novel three decades earlier, has been referenced by other tech companies like Microsoft.
Report by Shivam Patel in Bengaluru; Additional reports by Shubham Kalia, Bhargav Acharya and Juby Babu; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Anil D’Silva
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