Facebook is rebranding and changing its company name as early as next week, The Verge reports. Apparently, the social media giant will get a new name that will reflect its focus on creating a meta-universe.
It may also be related to a yet-to-be-released virtual reality social world called Horizon Worlds. The social network itself would likely retain the Facebook branding and be under a new parent company, along with Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus. This would be similar to what Google did in 2015, when it merged its various projects and divisions, along with itself, under its parent company Alphabet.
The Verge reports that the name change is currently a closely guarded secret, and not even all top executives know about it. Mark Zuckerberg has long talked about wanting to turn Facebook into a meta-universe, and has been taking steps toward that goal. Earlier this year, Facebook formed a team dedicated to creating a meta-universe, and just days ago it announced it would create 10,000 "highly skilled" jobs in the European Union over the next five years to create virtual and augmented reality. In September, the company also launched augmented reality smart glasses Ray-Ban Stories.
It's unclear how long Facebook has been planning to change its name, but it's certainly a good distraction from the investigations it's undergoing and the bad press it's now getting.
Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge