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 offering.
The ambitions include the creation of a metaverse, which Facebook describes as “a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences leveraging technologies like virtual and augmented reality” and intends to bring online interaction “far 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 proposed restructure comes as Facebook continues to deal with a spate of scandals, prompting critics to push for regulation to limit the company’s impact. Creating a parent company might thus allow Zuckerberg put some distance between its vast metaverse objectives and its ongoing Facebook-related troubles, with the social networking site playing a declining role over time.
The identity of the new parent business is thought to be a carefully kept secret within Facebook, with Zuckerberg likely to officially unveil it on Thursday, October 28, at the annual Connect conference.
With an estimated 2.89 billion monthly active members, Facebook started in 2004 and has since evolved to become the world’s most popular social networking program. In order to diversify its business, the corporation has made a number of acquisitions in recent years.
Facebook revealed just a few days ago that it would hire 10,000 people in Europe over the next five years as part of its ambitious metaverse plans. Many highly specialized engineers are the target of its future recruitment drive.
Zuckerberg described the metaverse as “an embodied internet where you are in it rather than merely seeing it” in an interview with The Verge in July.