CALIFORNIA (Reuters): Social media giant Facebook Inc (FB.O) is planning to rebrand itself with a new name next week, the Verge reported on Tuesday, citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about the name change at the company’s annual Connect conference on Oct. 28, but it could be unveiled sooner, the Verge reported.
In response, Facebook said it does not comment on “rumor or speculation.”
The news comes at a time when the company is facing increasing U.S. government scrutiny over its business practices. Lawmakers from both parties have excoriated the company, illustrating the rising anger in Congress with Facebook.
The rebranding would position Facebook’s social media app as one of many products under a parent company, which will also oversee groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and more, the Verge report added.
It’s not uncommon in the Silicon Valley for companies to change their names as they bid to expand their services.
Google established Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) as a holding company in 2015 to expand beyond its search and advertising businesses, to oversee various other ventures ranging from its autonomous vehicle unit and health technology to providing internet services in remote areas.
The move to rebrand will also reflect Facebook’s focus on building the so-called metaverse, an online world where people can use different devices to move and communicate in a virtual environment, according to the report.
Facebook has invested heavily in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and intends to connect its nearly three billion users through several devices and apps.
On Tuesday, it announced plans to create 10,000 jobs in the European Union over the next five years to help build this metaverse.
Zuckerberg has been talking up metaverse since July and the buzzy word, first coined in a dystopian novel three decades earlier, has been referenced by other tech firms such as Microsoft.
The Verge report said a possible name for the company could have something to do with Horizon. Recently, Facebook renamed its in-development VR gaming platform named ‘Horizon,’ to ‘Horizon Worlds’.