A Verge report has claimed that Facebook may be planning to change its company name from next week in order to better position itself as a "metaverse" or an intersection between the real and virtual worlds, offering a secondary online reality.
The change would be announced at Facebook's annual Connect Conference on October 28 but could be unveiled sooner, the report said, citing sources who were directly involved with Facebook.
With Facebook owning a multitude of popular online services like Instagram and WhatsApp, it now plans to become much more, offering shared virtual world environments and digital spaces which intersect reality and the virtual world through AI and virtual reality tools.
The term 'metaverse' was coined by Neal Stephenson in his novel 'Snow Crash' and shot into popularity earlier this year. The Facebook company, already struggling against allegations of monopoly and lack of concern for user welfare in a series of leaks, will have to contend with increased scrutiny even as it plans to extend its online presence.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had already made his plans to transition to a metaverse company clear earlier this year in an interview and is also spending millions to develop a new set of virtual reality (VR) glasses which he believes will one day be as commonplace as smartphones.