Facebook is one of the most popular apps available on the World Wide Web. I know that thousands of genealogists log onto the web site daily. Now the company is changing its name. It is now called "Meta."
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement at an event outlining a new push into the ‘metaverse.'
The company has received multiple black eyes in recent years because of its questionable business practices.
The name change comes as the world's largest social media company battles criticisms from lawmakers and regulators over its market power, algorithmic decisions and the policing of abuses on its platforms.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the company's live-streamed virtual and augmented reality conference, said the new name reflected its ambitions to build the metaverse, rather than its namesake social media service.
The metaverse, a term first coined in a dystopian novel three decades ago and now attracting buzz in Silicon Valley, refers broadly to the idea of a shared virtual environment which can be accessed by people using different devices.
"Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can't possibly represent everything that we're doing today, let alone in the future," said Zuckerberg.
The company, which has invested heavily in augmented and virtual reality, said the change would bring together its different apps and technologies under one new brand. It said it would not change its corporate structure.
The tech giant, which reports about 2.9 billion monthly users, has faced increasing scrutiny in recent years from global lawmakers and regulators.
In the latest controversy, whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked documents which she said showed the company chose profit over user safety. Zuckerberg earlier this week said the documents were being used to paint a "false picture."
You can read more in any of hundreds of online articles that have appeared on the web in the past few hours. Perform a search on your favorite search engine for "Facebook" or "Meta."