Technology giant, Facebook is set to rebrand, and that is authoritative, according to insiders who prefer to remain anonymous.
A former Facebook executive Samidh Chakrabarti, who previously worked as Facebook’s civic integrity chief, however, says the US tech titan will operate under the moniker “Meta”.
The news of the change of name was first reported by Verge on Tuesday.
The name will apparently focus on the “metaverse”, a virtual world being developed by the company where users can live, work and play.
News of the rebrand set the internet alight, with joke names like “Bookface” and “Booky McBookface” going viral on social media.
A number of industry experts weighed in with more serious predictions based on information provided to The Verge by a source at Facebook.
“My best guess for the new name: ‘Meta,’” Chakrabarti wrote on Twitter.
“But I’d prefer something more classic like simply ‘A Mark Zuckerberg Production’.”
Zuckerberg is reportedly planning a formal unveiling of the name next Thursday at Connect, the company’s annual virtual reality conference.
The rebrand would likely position Facebook’s social media app as one of many products under a parent company.
That parent company will also reportedly oversee groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and more.
It follows weeks of intense scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers over Facebook’s business practices.
Another realistic candidate for the new name is “Horizon” after a virtual reality platform the company has been developing.
That would be a nod to Zuckerberg’s desire for his company to be better known for the metaverse.
Facebook has invested $50million into the virtual space, which will be accessible through virtual reality glasses. It could take 15 years to develop.
Chakrabarti’s guess of Meta, however, appears to have legs.
Bloomberg reported that Facebook appears to own Meta.com, for instance.
“The web address meta.com currently redirects to meta.org, the home of a biomedical research discovery tool developed under the stewardship of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which is co-founded by the Facebook CEO,” the site said.
A WHOLE NEW WORLD
The concept of the metaverse is quickly becoming a buzzword in technology and business.
It generally refers to shared virtual world environments which people can access via the internet.
The term can refer to digital spaces which are made more lifelike by the use of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).
Some people also use the word metaverse to describe gaming worlds, in which users have a character that can walk around and interact with other players.
There is also a specific type of metaverse which uses blockchain technology. In these, users can buy virtual land and other digital assets using cryptocurrencies.
Many science fiction books and films are set in fully-fledged metaverses – alternative digital worlds which are indistinguishable from the real physical world. But this is still the stuff of fiction.
Currently, most virtual spaces look more like the inside of a video game than real life.