In 2004, a social media and networking website was launched by a group of Harvard College students, among them Mark Zuckerberg. Originally geared for the use of Harvard students and later of several major universities, by 2006 it was available to users over 13 years old by the name “Facebook.” On that day, social media changed forever. Many competing and contemporary social networking platforms would fold even as Facebook expanded and acquired other social media services under its umbrella. Despite sometimes-grave controversy, Facebook has endured and expanded even further. To reflect this, the company running the service is contemplating a major shift: a name change.
The Verge tells us that Facebook Inc. will be changing its name as an indicator of its planned direction towards the future. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg sees it, the company plans to officially reveal its new name next, around the time of the Facebook Connect conference this coming October 28. Considering the possibility of leaks however, the name change could be publicized earlier than that. The new name would encompass the fact that the Facebook platform is just one of the company’s many services, which now include other social media networks like WhatsApp and Instagram, and the VR platform Oculus.
But there is also a pragmatic angle in the proposed name change of Facebook Inc. Over the past few years the concept of social media has become more predominantly known for their negative effects rather than their positive benefits. Facebook and its associated platforms might only blame themselves, if a former company employee-turned-whistleblower has the right of it. Earlier this month the whistleblower alleged that Facebook has been letting hate-speech content by, as they apparently drew more users which equaled to more profit. Instagram was also slammed for exacerbating body issues with young female users.
Facebook Inc. for its part puts a positive spin on its impending name change. In fact, one reason might hint as to what the new name might be like. The company positions itself as one of the pioneers in the conceptualization and development of the “metaverse,” a proposed future version of the internet that could be explored as a collection of linked 3D virtual spaces. Facebook even recently announced plans for a metaverse development team with no less than 10,000 employees to be hired. This only serves to build hype for just what Facebook Inc. will call itself in future.
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