Friday, October 29, 2021

Facebook To Focus on Metaverse

Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said the company changed its name to Meta to reflect growth opportunities beyond its namesake social-media platform in online digital realms known as the metaverse, reports The Wall Street Journal.

“Over time I hope our company will be seen as a metaverse company,” Zuckerberg said Thursday. He unveiled the name, formally Meta Platforms Inc., for the company that also includes Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other products during Facebook’s annual developer event, where he detailed his vision for the metaverse that he sees as key to the tech giant attracting younger users.

Facebook is already investing heavily in creating that new reality of shared online spaces inhabited by digital avatars, with projects ranging from virtual-reality glasses to an e-commerce platform. “We expect to spend many billions of dollars for years to come,” Zuckerberg said.

The company on an earnings call Monday already said that Facebook Reality Labs, which encompasses augmented-reality and virtual-reality products and services, is becoming a separate reporting unit and that spending for it would reduce this year’s total operating profit by $10 billion. Zuckerberg at the time said Facebook was “retooling our teams to make serving young adults their North Star.”

At Thursday’s event the Facebook chief also addressed the decision to discuss emerging plans while the company faces such scrutiny. “I know some people will say this is not a time to focus on the future,” Zuckerberg said, but argued that it is important to move forward even if mistakes are made along the way.

The company’s shares, starting Dec. 1, are slated to trade under the stock symbol MVRS, giving up the two-letter format it had with FB.

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