In recent years Facebook has been steadily branching out into many sectors of commerce. Their list of mergers and acquisitions is expansive with the total amount of companies they own nearing 100, which notably includes entities like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus VR. Now, according to The Verge, the CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg is planning to change the company’s name altogether so as to reflect their ever-growing repertoire.
The news of the probable name change came just after Facebook announced that it was in the process of actively developing a metaverse. The Verge speculated further that the rebrand was likely prompted by Facebook’s desire to reflect its changing image and that they are anticipating Zuckerberg to announce the switch during Facebook’s Connect conference that is scheduled to take place on October 28, 2021.
Facebook declined to immediately comment on the rumor and The Verge says that the new name is a closely guarded secret. CNN noted that a company spokesperson directly stated that the corporation does not issue statements that are rooted in speculation. However, the idea that Facebook could be shifting itself to a parent company model that governs a whole host of entities is not entirely unique. Google adopted a similar model and formed their parent company Alphabet, in order to better reflect the needs of all of their businesses. If the change does happen, Facebook will likely take a similar approach and situate Facebook the social media app underneath what would become their larger brand.
The idea that Facebook will be changing its name makes a lot of sense. The company has publicly expressed not wanting to be known only for social media. Perhaps after they acquired Oculus VR and the fact that they are now developing a metaverse could have served as the final ingredient that ultimately pushed them to consider revamping the company’s branding. It will be interesting to see what their new name will be once it’s revealed.
The shift could prove to be an overall very smart decision for Facebook. Especially since the idea of a metaverse institutes a type of social connection that is not limited to the confines of a social media application. A metaverse would act as a means of global connection through a fully-realized digital space. Essentially, active metaverse participants would assume avatar identities and while engaged in the metaverse would be living the equivalent to a parallel life, similar to the concept illustrated in the novel Ready Player One, which later became a movie. It is both exciting and frightening to think that technology is reaching a precipice where the lines between science fiction and reality are getting increasingly more blurred.
This concept even goes beyond the digital space that Facebook is trying to develop. Such advancements in the physical world are also happening at a rapidly expanding rate. From the consistent rise in the amount of electric-powered vehicles that are being utilized on the roads to actual working prototypes of flying cars to billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos pouring money into developing the means for commercial space travel, the global populous is truly living in a time where what was once thought impossible or so futuristic that it could never be fully realized in their lifetimes but is now definitely becoming the new reality.