Facebook changes its name to Meta as part of company rebrand

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Facebook has announced a rebrand of the company, renaming it Meta, to bring together its different apps and technologies.

In an announcement at the Facebook Connect conference, founder Mark Zuckerberg said legacy apps like Facebook and Instagram will now be part of the new metaverse-focused parent company.

It comes as the social media giant deals with the fallout from a series of news reports and whistleblower complaints about how it handles user safety.

Two years ago, the company launched a new logo so it would not be confused with the platform Facebook, instead of changing the parent company's name as Google did to Alphabet in 2015.

Mr Zuckerberg has increasingly spoken about the company becoming one that is increasingly seen as a "metaverse business", and last week the technology powerhouse announced plans to hire 10,000 people across the EU to help bring this idea together.

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is a concept coined in the 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash to describe a kind of three-dimensional virtual reality version of the internet where people are present as avatars and move through a digital representation of the real world.

In Mr Zuckerberg's own words: "It's a virtual environment. We can be present with people in digital spaces. And you can kind of think about this as an embodied internet that you're inside of rather than just looking at. And we believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile internet."

He predicted that people would be able to access the metaverse "from all different devices and different levels of fidelity from apps on phones and PCs to immersive virtual and augmented reality devices".

"Within the metaverse, you can build a hang out, play games with friends, work, create and more," he said. "You're basically going to be able to do everything that you can on the internet today, as well as some things that don't make sense on the Internet today like dancing."

He said the defining quality of the metaverse is "the feeling that you're really there with another person or in another place".

"Creation, avatars and digital objects are going to be central to how we express ourselves and this is going to lead to entirely new experiences and economic opportunities," he added.

"I think that, overall, this is one of the most exciting projects that we're going to get to work on in our lifetime."

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