Facelift looms for giant

Central Station | 21 Oct 2021

Under-fire Facebook plans to rebrand itself with a new name that focuses on the metaverse.

The change is likely to be revealed next week, the techno-blog Verge reported, adding that it will likely mean positioning the flagship app as one of many products under a parent firm overseeing brands including Instagram and WhatsApp.

Google adopted such a structure when it reorganized into a holding company called Alphabet in 2015.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has since July been talking up the metaverse, a digital world where people can move between devices and communicate in a virtual environment. And the company has invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality, developing hardware to go there.

The metaverse, coined in a dystopian novel three decades ago, is popular in Silicon Valley and has been referenced by other tech firms such as Microsoft.

Children's game Roblox describes itself as a metaverse operation, and Epic Games' Fortnite is also considered part of the metaverse.

Facebook is under scrutiny globally over a perceived lack of content moderation practices and harm linked to its platforms.

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