Social media users reacted on Tuesday to a report that Facebook plans to rename its parent company as early as next week.
The company wants to move beyond social media into the metaverse, described as a virtual world achieved through virtual reality, a source told The Verge.
“Dear Facebook: We’ve received your request to change your name,” Axios reporter Ina Fried quipped on Twitter. “However, due to our real names policy, you will first need to fax us a copy of your court order and new driver’s license….”
“Change it to something obvious like ‘Open Book’ because it’s stealing all our personal information and spying on everything we say and search,” a Facebook user commented in a post.
“This should be great on the late night shows…..” another Facebook user joked.
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“I’m old enough to remember when Zuckerberg was so committed to the Facebook name he insisted on ‘Instagram by FB’ and ‘Whatsapp by FB,’” New York Times tech reporter She-Ra Frenkel tweeted. “Guess that didn’t work so they are trying a new tactic. Weird how much faith companies put in new branding.”
The Facebook app and website would likely keep the same name but Facebook, Inc., parent company of Instagram and WhatApp among others, would rebrand for its new metaverse vision.
Facebook spokesperson Joe Osborne told Fox Business, “We don’t comment on rumor or speculation.”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg may reveal the new name during the company’s annual CONNECT conference in the last week of October but it could come sooner, The Verge reported.
The company has planned the name change at a time when Facebook is facing scrutiny from all sides for its business practices.
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified about the social media platform before Congress earlier this month, saying she believes as a former engineer for the company it can “harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy.”
Google went through a similar rebranding in 2015, changing its holding company’s name to Alphabet, The Verge reported.
The company is reportedly tightly controlling all talk of the potential new name, even for some in senior leadership, according to The Verge.