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Facebook to change name to focus on the metaverse: report

According to a report from “The Verge”, Facebook is planning to rebrand the company with a new name to focus on building the metaverse.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: Fair enough. From Tesla to Facebook, Facebook reportedly, at least according to The Verge guys, may change its name, its holding company name next week at its Connect Conference. And I was joking around, Julie, with our friend and former colleague, Sam Ro, on Twitter, maybe they should just call it Face, Inc. Makes sense to me.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, but reportedly, according to The Verge, they are considering this name change, which apparently most of the people inside Facebook aren't privy to, even members of the senior management team, to further emphasize what Mark Zuckerberg has been trying to emphasize, which is the so-called metaverse. Now more on that in a moment.

But also one of the fringe benefits, perhaps, could be that Zuckerberg is trying to move away from the reputation that Facebook has developed, both on Capitol Hill and perhaps in common America, that Facebook is nefarious in some way or that it is not policing its content appropriately. So that might be one of the reasons here.

But onto the metaverse here, I know we've talked about it a bunch here. And I've been also talking to some of the folks at the chipmaker, Nvidia, ahead of its big programming conference. It's also talking a lot about the metaverse, as are a lot of people in technology. Basically, this has to do with creating alternative 3D worlds, both that are mirrors of our own or twins in the parlance of the metaverse or that are gaming worlds, for example, and just alternatives.

So, Facebook, the interesting thing about, for all of its talk of the metaverse and, yes, although it has a VR headset, its penetration in this area is not great. And not that anyone's is at this early stage in time, but just to say that, you know, you can't go on to Facebook in the metaverse, I don't think, as of yet, or its existing properties. And so it's interesting, this whole pivot that it has been talking about that might be reflected in this new name for something that is not terribly fleshed out as of yet.

BRIAN CHEUNG: I mean, I guess the question, too, is, who are you really fooling here, right? I mean, Alphabet, when they had their name change, everyone still knows that it's Google, right? I mean, what is a name change going to do? And I think there is also the distinction that it could be a Google type situation. I don't know this, but it could be a situation where they change the holding company name, but that the app itself is still called Facebook and Instagram and WhatsApp and what have you.

We know that, actually, the logo for the holding company, I believe for Facebook, is different than the logo that they use for the app Facebook. So there are just some distinctions here that maybe we need to wait for and when they actually announce some sort of change. But again, I think the story here really is just branding, right? Can you actually get away from that?

JULIE HYMAN: Hey, Brian.

BRIAN CHEUNG: We know-- yeah.

JULIE HYMAN: Sorry to interrupt you. Speaking of branding, though, there's something else that you noted that you've reported on, which is rebranding of their crypto wallet, right?

BRIAN CHEUNG: Right. Yeah, well, it was originally called Libra, and then they changed it to Diem. And I don't know why one would be better than the other. I mean, I don't think there is any-- I don't think Libras were coming after Facebook and saying, you know, we would prefer you to hijack our zodiac name. They had some obvious internal focus group at some point that said we need to rebrand this.

But I think broadly speaking, it is interesting that, I guess, the only name rebrand that this company has had in its short history was FaceMash, which was I think the original name that they used when it was basically just an app to rate chicks at Harvard. And then they turned it to Facebook at some point. And it's been the same since then. So I don't know. Maybe it should rebrand as like a Myspace or Friendster. I don't know. I don't know. They'll have to figure that out.

BRIAN SOZZI: Face Holding, Inc. That is my vote. Thank you, guys. All right.