Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has today announced that Facebook will be rebranded to Meta, while also unveiling the concept of ‘metaverse’ – a 3D world where people can connect beyond traditional screens.
The founder described the metaverse as a “virtual environment” where people can meet friends, work, learn, play and shop. The technology can be accessed by people using different devices, such as augmented reality glasses, virtual reality headsets, phones and computers.
Expecting to reach a billion people within the next decade, the news marks a major shift in the company’s priorities, going from “Facebook-first” to “metaverse-first”.
“The defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence — like you are right there with another person or in another place,” said Zuckerberg.
“Feeling truly present with another person is the ultimate dream of social technology. That is why we are focused on building this.”
Meaning ‘beyond’ in Greek, Zuckerberg explained that the rebrand to Meta better reflected the company’s mission of building technology to connect people.
However, sceptics consider the shift a deliberate move to take away attention from the Facebook Files – a Wall Street Journal investigation into how the major tech company ignored internal warnings about the negative consequences of its social media platforms.
The company's corporate structure will remain the same, as will the names of all its major social networks.
Zuckerberg envisions the future as one that embraces the idea of remote work and more virtual experiences.
He’s also committed to hiring 10,000 people in the European Union to help create the metaverse.
“In this future, you will be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parents’ living room to catch up.
“This will open up more opportunity no matter where you live. You’ll be able to spend more time on what matters to you, cut down time in traffic, and reduce your carbon footprint.”
From 1 December, the company’s shares will trade under a new ticker symbol, MVRS.
“Our mission remains the same — it’s still about bringing people together.”
“Our apps and their brands aren’t changing either. We’re still the company that designs technology around people.”
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