Facebook may change its company name, according to US reports.
According to sources in the company cited by The Verge, Facebook is to embark on a rebranding mission ahead of a new push to refashion itself as a ‘metaverse’ company.
The move, reportedly set to be announced at Facebook’s Connect conference next week, comes just days after the social media giant announced it would create 10,000 jobs across Ireland and Europe in an effort to build a new online virtual ‘metaverse’ where people can work, socialise and be entertained.
The rebranding exercise may resemble what Google did in 2015, changing its corporate structure to a parent company called Alphabet that has services such as Google, YouTube and Android as divisions.
It may also help founder, chief executive and controlling shareholder Mark Zuckerberg create distance between his new metaverse project and negative connotations associated with Facebook’s brand.
Last month, Facebook released a pair of smart glasses co-designed with Ray-ban called Ray-ban Stories. However, the gadget has been mostly dubbed ‘Facebook Glasses’, adding unwanted branding baggage to what the company wanted to be an early step in its metaverse development.
Facebook says that its ‘metaverse’ will be “a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality”.
In an interview earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg said the metaverse experience will be “a lot richer” than current versions of virtual reality or video calls. “A lot of the meetings that we have today, you’re looking at a grid of faces on a screen,” he told The Verge. “In the future, instead of just doing this over a phone call, you’ll be able to sit as a hologram on my couch.”
Facebook’s European jobs move will likely add to the 6,000 people already employed by the company in Dublin, Meath and Cork.
The newly-announced jobs, which will be in areas such as engineering, product and business functions, will be “a mixture of in-office and remote”, according to the company. They are aimed at “opening up opportunities in Ireland and in new locations across the EU” and will be created in the next five years, the company says.
Facebook previously announced that most employees can opt to work full time remotely from a number of European countries, if their job allows them to do so. The same policy will apply to these new jobs, according to the company.