FACEBOOK has changed its corporate name to Meta as part of a major rebrand.
The internet giant said that Facebook could not “encompass” the companies aspirations for the future, which include expanding beyond social media into areas like virtual reality (VR).
The change will not apply to individual platforms, such as Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram, only the parent company that owns them.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new name as part of wider plans to build a "metaverse" - an online universe where users can go about their virtual business, gaming, working and communicating in a virtual world.
All that would be required is a screen, internet connection, VR headsets, and if its as immersive as Zuckerberg will have us believe, a comfy chair.
"Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we're building towards," Zuckerberg told a virtual conference.
"We're now looking at and reporting on our business as two different segments, one for our family of apps, and one for our work on future platforms.
"And as part of this, it is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do, to reflect who we are and what we hope to build."
The move has been viewed in some quarters as a cynical attempt to distract from the series of scandals currently plaguing the company, including damaging information leaked by a former employee.
Whistleblower Frances Haugen accused her old employer of putting "profits over safety", and told MPs Facebook is "unquestionably making hate worse".
She said: "I am deeply worried that it may not be possible to make Instagram safe for a 14-year-old, and I sincerely doubt that it is possible to make it safe for a 10-year-old”.
Fellow tech titan Elon Musk seemed to allude to the companies questionable business model when he tweeted "Facebook sucks" in May of last year.
It remains to be seen whether the name-change will have the desired effect, but, like a 100,000 tonne freight ship, once a global brand becomes entrenched, both in its internal workings and in the popular imagination, it can be hard to steer it in a completely different direction.
In 2015, Google made a similar decision to rename its parent firm Alphabet, but the name has not yet caught on.