Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday that the company will be renaming itself Meta. The announcement came with a redesigned logo resembling a slightly skewed horizontal infinity symbol.
The Facebook social media app will keep its name, as well as WhatsApp, Instagram, and the rest of the apps owned by the company. The company that owns and controls these apps will be known as Meta.
The announcement was made during Facebook’s Connect Conference event. Zuckerberg has already expressed his plan to expand his company into the metaverse, and he remarked during the announcement that the new name is meant to reflect this:
“We are a company that builds technology to connect. together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy.”
“To reflect who we are and what we hope to build.”
Zuckerberg currently owns the domain name meta.com and the Twitter handle @meta.
The company also announced a new creation, a “metaverse” called Horizon, today at the same conference.
Many around the world see this year’s Connect and the massive brand overhaul that accompanies it as an effort to take attention away from a slew of recent problems, many of them brought to light by a whistleblower.
Whistleblower Frances Haugen charged in testimony before a Congressional subcommittee just weeks ago that Facebook executives were well aware of the social damage that it was allowing to take place on its platforms but did nothing to address the issue due to purely financial concerns.
Facebook rebranding itself after damaging testimony, leaks
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg initially dismissed accusations that the company failed to stop the riots, telling Reuters in January that “We know this was organized online. We know that. We… took down QAnon, Proud Boys, Stop the Steal, anything that was talking about possible violence last week.
“Our enforcement’s never perfect so I’m sure there were still things on Facebook. I think these events were largely organized on platforms that don’t have our abilities to stop hate and don’t have our standards and don’t have our transparency.”
But the documents from Haugen’s leak tell a different story about the company’s efforts to stop the spread of information involved in the demonstration at the Capitol on January 6. Documents show that Facebook scrambled to control the information being spread on its platform long after the bulk of the activity had taken place, effectively trying to stop the demonstrators when it was already too late.