Social media giant Facebook Inc is planning to rebrand itself with a new name next week to reflect that it is more than just a social media company, according to a report in The Verge on Tuesday, that cited a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
The move comes at a time when the tech giant is under fire from lawmakers in the US as well as other countries for not being able to control the harmful effects of its social media platforms, especially children.
A former employee turned whistleblower, Frances Haugen, recently leaked a huge pile of damning internal documents to The Wall Street Journal and also testified about them before Congress. Antitrust regulators in the US and in other countries are trying to break up the company as it is seen to be abusing its dominant position.
The rebranding would position Facebook's social media app as just one of many products under a parent company, which will also oversee groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and more, the Verge report added.
Also read: US Senate panel says Facebook harming children, want CEO Zuckerberg to testify
The new name is expected to reflect the US tech giant’s focus on building the metaverse, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
A rebrand could also serve to further separate the futuristic work Zuckerberg is focused on from the intense scrutiny Facebook is currently under for the way its social platform operates today.
The coming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th, The Verge report said.
Facebook already has more than 10,000 employees building consumer hardware like AR glasses that Zuckerberg believes will become as popular as smartphones. This is part of its focus on building the so-called metaverse, an online world where people can use different devices to move and communicate in a virtual environment, according to the report.
Other Silicon Valley companies have changed their names as they bid to expand their services.
Google, which is a prime example, established Alphabet Inc as a holding company in 2015 to expand beyond its search and advertising businesses, to oversee various other ventures ranging from its autonomous vehicle unit and health technology to providing internet services in remote areas.
Facebook refused to respond to the report saying it does not comment on "rumour or speculation."