Two weeks ago, a rumor of a name change for the social media company Facebook was spreading fast among internet users. Facebook has been around since February 2004, and it has developed and changed quite a bit. The name, however, has remained the same. Back in 2003, the original intention of the social media app was a “hot or not” style website, originally called Facemash, where students at Harvard University could rate the faces of their classmates. While it got shut down two days later, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg aimed to redesign the website, giving it its new purpose – connecting people. In early 2004, it was re-released as the Facebook we know today.
On Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, Facebook announced the new company name as Meta Platforms, in reference to the metaverse (a fictional future vision of the internet.) According to CNBC, the change comes after the company faced scrutiny over the spread of “hate speech” and “misinformation” earlier this year.
In relation to the name change, the company will still remain in control of the other social media platforms such as Instagram, Oculus, Whatsapp, etc. and they will become what is known as subsidiaries, which means they will be less of a focus for the company but still important nonetheless.
“The best way to understand the metaverse is to experience it yourself,” Zuckerberg said in his announcement. “It doesn’t fully exist yet.” He hopes this name change will give a fresh face for the embattled company.