According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Facebook will announce a major company restructure next week that will result in it operating under a new name.
According to an unnamed source, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to make the change to emphasize the company’s ambitions beyond its core social networking product.
The plans include the creation of a metaverse, which Facebook describes as “a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality” and aims to bring online interaction “much closer to the experience of interacting in person.” Consider it a kind of immersive, 3D internet.
The reported rebrand is expected to place Facebook beneath a new parent company that will also oversee other Facebook-owned products such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and VR-focused Oculus, among others, similar to how Google created Alphabet in 2015 to oversee multiple companies and initiatives as the web giant expanded beyond its search engine service.
The reported restructuring comes as Facebook continues to deal with a slew of scandals, prompting critics to call for regulation to limit the company’s influence. Creating a parent company could thus assist Zuckerberg in putting some distance between its grand metaverse ambitions and its ongoing Facebook-related woes.
The name of the new parent company is said to be a closely guarded secret within Facebook, with Zuckerberg expected to officially announce it on Thursday, October 28 at the annual Connect conference.
Facebook debuted in 2004 and has since grown to become the world’s most popular social networking service, with an estimated 2.89 billion monthly active users. In recent years, the company has made a number of acquisitions in order to diversify its operations.
Facebook announced just a few days ago that it will hire 10,000 people in Europe over the next five years as part of its ambitious metaverse plans, with many highly specialized engineers being the target of its upcoming recruitment drive.
In an interview with The Verge in July, Zuckerberg described the metaverse as “an embodied internet where you are in it rather than just viewing it.”
Digital Trends has reached out to Facebook for comment on Tuesday’s report, and we will update this article as soon as we receive a response.