Facebook, Inc. Plans to Change Company Name in Rebranding Effort, According to Report

The switch is expected to reflect the company's "focus on building the metaverse," according to The Verge

Facebook, Inc. is planning to unveil a new name in an effort to be seen as more than just a social media company, according to a new report.

The Verge reported that CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to announce the new name next week during the annual Connect conference on Oct. 28. The switch is expected to reflect the company's "focus on building the metaverse," per the tech news outlet.

A Facebook spokesperson tells PEOPLE, "We don't comment on rumor or speculation."

As a part of the rebrand, the name of the Facebook app would reportedly not change, but rather the parent company would have a new moniker.

The Verge also reported that the new name is not widely known at the company, but could possibly be connected to their VR platform, Horizon Worlds, which is currently in an invite-only beta phase.

Facebook and Instagram outage
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Facebook's reported rebrand would come amid a period of intense scrutiny for the company, after former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen leaked internal documents to lawmakers and the Wall Street Journal.

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The documents led to a WSJ series that alleged Facebook allowed the accounts of high-profile users to bypass its rules, allowing some to post material meant to incite violence or harass others; downplayed data that showed Instagram is harmful to young teens, namely girls; and made changes to its algorithm that made people "angrier," among other allegations.

After Haugan's testimony, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agreed there was a need for new regulations to change how Facebook targets its users, according to the Associated Press.

Hours after Haugen testified before a Senate Commerce subcommittee, Zuckerberg released a letter on Oct. 5, claiming that the allegations painted a "false picture of the company."

"We care deeply about issues like safety, well-being and mental health," he wrote.

Earlier this month, Facebook went offline for several hours — its worst outage since 2008.

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Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg. AMY OSBORNE/Getty

Zuckerberg previously mentioned the company shifting focus to the "metaverse" — a word coined in a 1992 science fiction book by Neil Stephenson — during a July interview with The Verge.

"The metaverse is a vision that spans many companies — the whole industry. You can think about it as the successor to the mobile internet," he said. "It's certainly not something that any one company is going to build, but I think a big part of our next chapter is going to hopefully be contributing to building that, in partnership with a lot of other companies and creators and developers."

"And my hope, if we do this well, I think over the next five years or so, in this next chapter of our company, I think we will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company," he added. ​

The company announced on Sunday that over the next five years it plans on creating 10,000 jobs across the EU to help build the metaverse.

"Facebook is at the start of a journey to help build the next computing platform," the company wrote in a blog post, referring to the metaverse as "a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality."

"At its heart is the idea that by creating a greater sense of 'virtual presence', interacting online can become much closer to the experience of interacting in person," the company wrote, emphasizing that "like the internet, its key feature will be its openness and interoperability."

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