Facebook Changes Company Name to 'Meta' in Rebrand, Social Network Name Will Stay

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday that the parent company of Facebook would be changing its name to Meta in the social media platform's rebrand.

"We are a company that builds technology to connect," Zuckerberg said during the company's Connect event. "Together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy."

Zuckerberg, who was the keynote speaker at the virtual event, said the name Facebook no longer represents the company as a whole, especially as it grows away from only providing social media services.

"From now on, we're going to be the metaverse first. Not Facebook first," he said. "Facebook is one of the most used products in the world. But increasingly, it doesn't encompass everything that we do."

"Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product," he continued. "But over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company."

Facebook Meta Mark Zuckerberg Rebrand Name Change
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday that the parent company would be changing its name to "Meta." In this photo illustration, the Facebook logo is displayed on the screen of an iPhone on October 06, 2021, in Paris, France. Chesnot/Getty

Connect is the company's annual hardware event, where it discusses new products in virtual reality and augmented reality, like Portal video devices and Oculus headsets.

The name of the social media network will still be Facebook, Zuckerberg added. The parent company also owns Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus.

Zuckerberg already owns the Twitter handle for @meta and the website domain for meta.com.

On its website, the company says "connection is evolving and so are we."

"The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection. Our company's vision is to help bring the metaverse to life, so we are changing our name to reflect our commitment to this future," it explained.

The announcement comes as part of the company's broader effort to rebrand and shift away from recent controversies related to the fact that it was aware of a string of social harms it caused users.

Last week, 17 American news organizations collectively began publishing a series of stories based on internal company documents called "the Facebook Papers." The complaints listed in the documents range from Facebook's harm to children to its alleged role in inciting political violence, including the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

The publishing of those documents has prompted lawmakers around the world to impose new regulations on the tech industry and demand Facebook hand over more information.

While reactions to the Facebook Papers have put pressure on the company, Zuckerberg has been working to shift Facebook's strategy for some time now.

Back in July, the CEO told The Verge that the company would "effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company."

Back in 2015, Google also rebranded as Alphabet as a way of reorganizing the company and disconnecting its name from other ventures.

Correction (10/28/2021, 6:05 p.m.): This article has been corrected to reflect that Facebook owns WhatsApp, not WeChat as previously stated. Newsweek regrets the error.