Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that the parent company will now be called Meta, to better represent all of its activities, from social networking to virtual reality, but the names of the various services will remain unchanged.
The founder of the tech giant, accused of putting profits before people by a whistleblower and many elected officials, chose meta - beyond in ancient Greek - to show that there is always more to build.
We've learned a lot by confronting many problems, he said, judging that it is now time to learn the lessons to build the next chapter.
This announcement was made after an hour and a half of presentation of the metaverse, metavers in French for meta-universe.
According to him, the metaverse represents the future of the Internet, after computers and cell phones, to which the public will have access to interact, work or be entertained via technologies (augmented reality glasses, virtual reality headsets, etc.).
The name change is interpreted as a distraction by critics of the Californian group, which is mired in scandals and controversies, from misinformation to data privacy to compliance with competition law.
The anger of authorities and civil society has grown in recent weeks with the revelations of a whistleblower, Frances Haugen, which show that Facebook has chosen to ignore some of the dangers - toxic content on Instagram for teenagers, disinformation that harms democracy, etc. - for the sake of preserving its profits.
However, Mark Zuckerberg has been talking about the metaverse for several months. He has already announced investments of several billion during the coming years and the recruitment of 10,000 people in Europe for this project.
He gave more details on Thursday, painting a future worthy of science fiction while offering perspectives to brands in terms of marketing.