Everything you need to know about Facebook's name change

Recently news emerged from multiple sources that social media giant Facebook might be following the true and tried 'Change the name' playbook of other tech giants like Alphabet (which subsumed Google), Snap Inc. (formerly Snapchat), and Apple (formerly Apple Computer).

The social media platform Facebook which is used by every one out of 3 humans on this planet, might still be called Facebook. Still, the parent company, which owns Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and a number of unrevealed projects, could be given a new baptize.

Facebook has been talking about how it isn't just building a social media company; it's building the metaverse, leading many people to theorize that this may be the company's new name if it does announce one.

Here's what you need to know about this name change, the metaverse, and why this matters.

Why would Facebook want to rename?

For Facebook, a company that started as a single social network and morphed into an enormous many-tentacled creature, acquiring assets like Instagram and WhatsApp properties and many more.
The parent company might be getting its name changed, but, likely, you may not hear that very much. Those names are used mainly by investors and financial audiences. Like Alphabet, Facebook's new name probably won't make it into the mainstream.

Why rename a company?

Many companies have renamed themselves over the years. Some do it to escape the bad press, and others do it because they've created spin-offs. PepsiCo's restaurant division, which owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC, wanted a new name, so Shore created Yum! Brands for them. Some companies do it because the names have negative connotations. Kentucky Fried Chicken was rebranded to KFC, allegedly because of unhealthy perceptions around the word "fried." Some companies do it because they're looking for a newer, fresher name, and in some cases, companies do it for legal reasons.

Why is Facebook talking about the metaverse?

Laurel Sutton, the co-founder of Catchword, takes issue with Facebook using the term metaverse. "The metaverse is a word that came out of a Neal Stephenson novel set in a dystopian society where corporations control everything," she says. In the book, starving people escape into a virtual community called the metaverse, where they have avatars that represent themselves, and they can walk around and meet people and do things.

"It's interesting that they chose this and that perhaps the name will be based on it in some way," says Sutton. "In the novel, the metaverse exists because people hate their real lives. Facebook is saying that we are going to create our own Metaverse you can escape to. But the fact is, our own dystopian society where we live right now is so bad partly because of Facebook."

With this name, "they're saying, well, we have the cure to the disease that we gave you," she says. "It seems super ironic."

Mayank Dahiya is the writer of this article. Views expressed, and information provided belong solely to the author.

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