Facebook To Rebrand With New Name In Wake Of Controversies

Social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), under fire from lawmakers over its business practices, is planning to rebrand itself with a new name, according to multiple media reports.

The name change is expected to be announced next week and will likely position the flagship social media app as one of many products under a parent company that oversees brands such as Instagram and WhatsApp, according to the reports.

Google adopted a similar approach when it reorganized into a holding company called Alphabet in 2015.

Facebook Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg has been talking up the so called "metaverse," a digital world where people can move between different devices and communicate in a virtual environment, since July.

The company has invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality, developing hardware such as its Oculus VR headsets and working on augmented reality glasses and wristband technologies.

The term metaverse, first coined in a dystopian novel three decades ago, is popular in Silicon Valley and has been referenced by other technology firms such as Microsoft. The popular children's game Roblox describes itself as a "metaverse company." Epic Games' Fortnite is also considered to be part of the metaverse.

Zuckerberg plans to talk about the name change at the company's annual Connect conference on October 28, and the new name is expected to reflect Facebook’s increasing focus on the metaverse.

The name change comes at a time when Facebook is under wide-ranging scrutiny from global lawmakers and regulators over its content moderation practices and harms linked to its platforms, with internal documents leaked by a whistleblower forming the basis for a U.S. Senate hearing last week.