Is Facebook about to re-brand with a new name next week?
Facebook will soon change its name, a new report suggests, as it seeks to demonstrate that it has expanded beyond its social media roots, and has its sights firmly set on creating future products such as the metaverse.
According to The Verge, it’s as yet unclear whether the name change will come to the Facebook platform itself, or whether the rebranding will take the form of a new parent company for Facebook to sit under, alongside other Facebook-owned brands including Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus.
The Verge’s report quotes “a source with direct knowledge of the matter,” who claims Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg will discuss the name change at the upcoming Facebook Connect conference on October 28.
TechRadar reached out to Facebook for comment on the matter, though a spokesperson for the company would only say: “We don’t comment on rumor or speculation.”
Our take: Facebook by any other name
It makes sense that Facebook would want to rebrand to better reflect the various products and brands it now runs, such as the virtual-reality focused Oculus. We saw a similar strategy back in 2015 when Google restructured and created a new parent company for itself named Alphabet, with the Google suite of products and services becoming a subsidiary under that new parent.
Six years on, it’s safe to say the DNA of Google hasn’t changed all that much, and similarly, the creation of a new parent company for Facebook may have little effect on Facebook’s current range of products and services, and is likely more focused on future ambitions.
With that said, it must be acknowledged that Facebook is in the midst of a brand crisis. Last month, The Wall Street Journal released “The Facebook Files” – a controversial set of leaked documents that showed Facebook had conducted its own research into Instagram’s negative impact on the mental health of teenagers.
The whistleblower soon revealed herself as former Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, who has since testified to the United States Senate regarding what she claims are harmful practices at the social giant.
If Mark Zuckerberg is to announce plans to change the name of Facebook on October 28, it's also a convenient excuse to put some space between the company’s other brands and the dark reputation its social media platform has earned.