Facebook is planning to change its company name next week to reflect its shift in focus towards building the so-called metaverse, The Verge reported on Tuesday, a move that will come at a time when the company is besieged by controversy as its business practices face intense scrutiny both in the U.S. and abroad.
Citing an unnamed source, The Verge reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to discuss Facebook’s name change at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28, but the official announcement could come before that.
Similar to Google’s creation of parent company Alphabet in 2015, Facebook’s rebrand will reportedly lead to the creation of an umbrella company that will oversee the operations of the Facebook social media platform along with Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus among others.
The report notes that the rebrand could allow the company to separate its work on the so-called metaverse from all the controversies surrounding its popular social media platforms.
Facebook has defined the metaverse as a set of virtual spaces where people can interact and engage with others who aren’t in the same physical space as them by using virtual reality, augmented reality and other similar technologies.
According to the report, the new company name is a closely guarded secret and even some members of its senior leadership are unaware of it.
Forbes has reached out to Facebook for a comment on the report.