It was confirmed at the eighth annual Connect 2021 event that Facebook is changing its name to ‘Meta’.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, the inspiration for the name stems from the platform’s new focus on the next generation of digital connection, the Metaverse. He states: “I used to study Classics, and the word “meta” comes from the Greek word meaning “beyond”. For me, it symbolizes that there is always more to build, and there is always a next chapter to the story.”

The Metaverse is defined as a virtual reality universe where users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users, with some believing that it could be the future of the internet. Whilst VR is mostly used for gaming currently, the Metaverse will be used for work, play, concerts, cinema trips or just socialising with friends. Zuckerberg says: “The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together.”

Facebook are going for a metaverse-first, not Facebook-first strategy as we move towards 2022, wanting to be seen as a ‘future-thinking’ company and step away from the controversy that has tainted Facebook’s name in recent months.

This does not mean the Facebook app will change its name, it is a name change for the Facebook ‘family of apps’. Meta will be the overarching parental name for apps such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and ‘Reality Labs’ which will cover the company’s VR and AR technologies.

It will be interesting to see if changing their name will alter the perception of the company as a whole, and part of us is questioning if this announcement has been made to distance the business from recent hate speech allegations and former employees speaking out, however, it certainly signifies a change in direction that could change the way we interact on social networking platforms. Who knows, one day soon we may all be part of the Metaverse!