New horizon for metaverse: Facebook plots rebranding

facebook nFacebook is understood to be planning to relaunch under a new umbrella brand within days, which would not only house the social media operation and its Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus divisions but also reflect its focus on building the so-called metaverse.

Originally coined by sci-fi novelist Neal Stephenson in his 1992 book Snow Crash to describe a virtual world people escape to from a dystopian, real world, the metaverse is now typically used to describe the concept of a future iteration of the Internet.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been banging on about the metaverse in recent months, and revealed that the firm was focused on products for communities, creators, commerce, and virtual reality.

He recently said: “What I think is most interesting is how these themes will come together into a bigger idea. Our overarching goal across all of these initiatives is to help bring the metaverse to life.”

The looming rebrand, which it is claimed Zuckerberg will unveil at the company’s annual Connect conference next week, is designed to reposition Facebook as far more than a social media company and move it away from being inextricably linked to the channel’s problems.

In 2015, Google performed a similar rebrand under Alphabet, partly to signal that it was no longer just a search engine, but a sprawling conglomerate with companies making driverless cars and health tech.

According to a report on The Verge website, the possible name could have something to do with Horizon, the name of the still-unreleased VR version of a Facebook gaming platform, that the company has been developing for the past few years.

Facebook declined to comment.

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