Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced in his keynote address that the company starting today will be called Meta.
“Facebook is one of the most used products in the history of the world and it’s an iconic social media brand but increasingly it just doesn’t encompass everything that we do,” Zuckerberg said. “I want to anchor our work and identity into what we are building towards.
“To reflect who we are and what we hope to build, I am proud to announce that, starting today, our company is now Meta.”
Zuckerberg added that new brand, which will bring all of Facebook’s different apps and technologies under one brand, will not change its corporate structure, leaving the name of its most famous apps unchanged.
“Our mission remains the same, still about bringing people together,” he said. “We’re still the company that designs technology around people but now we have a new North Star.”
The brand’s new name, which reflects Zuckerberg’s metaverse goals, represents a fresh start for the Menlo Park company, hoping to stir away from recent political and social pressures.
In the last few years, Zuckerberg’s company has been under fire for its market power, algorithmic decisions and the policing of abuse on its platform.
On Monday – the same day Facebook announced its third quarter results – Frances Hagen, former product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation platform, appeared in front of the UK’s Joint Committee saying the platform sees safety as a cost centre.
The whistleblower explained that, because of how it is designed, the algorithm promotes divisive content and will continue to fuel violent episodes.
“The events we’re seeing around the world, things like Myanmar and Ethiopia, those are the opening chapters because engagement-based ranking does two things: one, it prioritises and amplifies divisive and polarising extreme content and two it concentrates it,” City A.M. reported Haugen saying.
In his call to investors, Zuckerberg hit back at critics, condemning the “coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to pay a false picture” of the company.
“I believe large organisation should be scrutinised. I much rather live in a society where they are then in one where they can’t be. Good faith criticism helps us get better,” he told investors on Monday.