décembre 4, 2021

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Facebook changes the name of the parent company to « Meta »

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the parent company’s name will be changed to « Meta » to represent a future beyond its troubled social network.

The new handle comes as the social media giant tries to fend off one of its worst crises yet and focus on its ambitions to bring the virtual reality « metaverse » to the internet that the tech giant sees as the future.

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp will keep their names under rebranding.

« We’ve learned a lot from struggling with social issues and living under closed platforms, and now it’s time to take everything we’ve learned and help build the next chapter, » Zuckerberg said during an annual developer conference.

He added, « I am proud to announce that starting today, our company is now Meta. Our mission remains the same, and it continues to be about bringing people together, our apps and their brands, it won’t change. »

Facebook critics last week blasted a report leaking rebranding plans, saying the company was intended to distract attention from the recent scandals and controversy.

An activist group calling itself the « real Facebook Supervisory Board » has warned that major industries such as oil and tobacco have been renamed to « distract attention » from their problems.

« Facebook believes that changing the brand can help them change the topic, » the group said last week, adding that the « real problem » was the need for censorship and regulation.

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Facebook has just announced plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to build a « metaverse, » with Mr Zuckerberg emerging as the concept’s leading promoter.

The social media giant has been grappling with a new crisis since ex-employee Francis Haugen leaked reams of internal studies that showed executives were aware of the potential for harm to their sites, prompting renewed US pressure for regulation.

Facebook has been in major crises before, but the current look behind the guise of the isolated company has sparked a flurry of vitriolic reporting and scrutiny from US regulators.

« Good-faith cash helps us improve, but my view is that what we’re seeing is a concerted effort to selectively use the leaked documents to paint a wrong picture of our company, » Zuckerberg said on Monday’s earnings call.

The Washington Post noted last month that Facebook’s interest in Metaverse is « part of a broader campaign to rehabilitate the company’s reputation with policymakers and reposition Facebook to shape regulation of the Internet’s next wave technologies. »

Google rebranded itself as Alphabet in reshaping the company in 2015, but the online search and advertising engine remains its defining unit despite other operations like Waymo for self-driving cars and Verily life sciences.

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