Facebook CEO Zuckerberg Reveals Company's New Name Will be 'Meta'
18:22 GMT 28.10.2021 (Updated: 18:21 GMT 03.11.2022)
© REUTERS / Carlos JassoFacebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg addresses the audience on "the challenges of protecting free speech while combating hate speech online, fighting misinformation, and political data privacy and security," at a forum hosted by Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service (GU Politics) and the McCourt School of Public Policy in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2019
© REUTERS / Carlos Jasso
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed on Thursday that the company would be renamed Meta and would begin to focus its efforts on the metaverse instead of its social media platforms.
Zuckerberg revealed the details at the annual Facebook Connect conference. Meta will start trading under the new ticker "MVRS" on December 1.
"We're going to be Metaverse first, not Facebook first," Zuckerberg said. However, its apps and their brands will not be affected by the corporate name change, he clarified.
The news comes just days after the company announced it would start publishing the financial results of its massive investment in augmented reality and virtual reality labs, part of its drive to create a "metaverse," or shared virtual reality environment that multiple users can access at once.
Facebook has for years worked on virtual reality technology, including the Oculus virtual reality headset, which it bought in 2014 and worked on in conjunction with the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to advance the waging of cyberwarfare. Facebook even hired a former DARPA director, Regina Dugan, to head up its secretive Building 8 research lab between 2016 and 2018, when it dissolved the lab into separate projects called Portal and Reality Labs.
"You can look around the data. You look to your left, look to your right, and see different subnets of information," Frank Pound, program manager for DARPA's Plan X 3D internet visualization program, told Wired in 2014. "With the Oculus, you have that immersive environment. It's like you're swimming in the Internet."
Its VR and AR labs were merged into Facebook Reality Labs in August 2020, and up to one-fifth of Facebook's entire workforce, 10,000 employees, has since been dedicated to working on the program. Earlier this month, the company revealed plans to hire another 10,000 workers in Europe to also work on its metaverse project.
In the company's third quarter earnings report released on Monday, CFO David Wehner said it was investing some $10 billion into Facebook Reality Labs this year. The report also noted the company's third quarter profits were up by 17%. Its revenue consists primarily of ad sales.
"This is not an investment that is going to be profitable for us any time in the near future," Zuckerberg told analysts on Monday. "But we basically believe that the metaverse is going to be the successor to the mobile internet."