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Is Facebook changing company name? Shift to metaverse ignites rebranding plan, report says

·2 min read

Is Facebook going to change its name?

The tech giant is planning to announce a rebrand which would include changing its company name, according to The Verge.

The move would place Facebook and other apps, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus, under an umbrella company with a new name, the report said. This is similar to the structure of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to discuss the rebrand at the company's Connect conference on Oct. 28, but could announce something sooner, the report said.

In a statement emailed to USA TODAY, Facebook said it does not comment on rumors or speculation.

The reported rebrand follows explosive testimony earlier this month from a whistleblower urging lawmakers to regulate the tech giant. Former Facebook project manager Frances Haugen told a Senate subcommittee the social network "put their astronomical profits before people."

According to the report, the rebrand is aimed at reflecting the company's push into the metaverse, a new way to connect people online leveraging augmented and virtual reality.

Also on Wednesday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., wrote a letter to Zuckerberg asking for him or Instagram head Adam Mosseri to testify about the photo- and video-sharing platform's harm to kids, citing Haugen's testimony and her leaked Facebook internal documents.

"I am disappointed that Facebook has been unwilling to be fully transparent with me, other members of Congress, and the public, and appears to have concealed vital information from us about teen mental health and addiction," Blumenthal wrote.

Blumenthal also wrote that Facebook "appears to have concealed vital information from us about teen mental health and addiction. When I sought specific information about Instagram and teens in an August letter, Facebook provided clearly evasive and misleading answers that have now been directly disputed by Ms. Haugen."

A Facebook spokesperson said the company has received Blumenthal's letter. Last month, Mosseri said Instagram was "pausing" an Instagram for kids app amid outcry from parents, advocacy groups and lawmakers, including Blumenthal.

Also, Facebook vice president and head of research Pratiti Raychoudhury disputed claims that Instagram has a "toxic" effect on kids.

"The research actually demonstrated that many teens we heard from feel that using Instagram helps them when they are struggling with the kinds of hard moments and issues teenagers have always faced," Raychoudhury said.

►More Facebook: Company paying fine to settle US suit on discrimination

►New smartphones: Google unveils Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones starting at $599

Earlier this week, Facebook revealed it was hiring 10,000 people in the European Union over the next five years to help build the platform, which supporters of the metaverse believe could eventually replace the internet.

►Tech news straight to your inbox: Subscribe to the Talking Tech newsletter

Terry Collins contributed.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Facebook rebrand: Metaverse shift may lead to new company name

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