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The Real Reason Facebook Changed Its Name

By Brian Merchant

28 Oct 2021 · 8 min read

Meta—the company formerly known as Facebook—desperately wants you to believe that it is going to put the future on your face. That was the gist of Mark Zuckerberg’s hour-and-a-half announcement today that the largest social-media company in history was officially rebranding, and reorienting itself to focus on “the metaverse.”

The news was jarring, but hardly surprising. For Facebook, 2021 has been the Year of Trying to Make the Metaverse Happen. First, there was the splashy announcement in The Verge, courtesy of Zuckerberg himself, that Facebook would no longer be a social-media company. Instead, it would transition into “a metaverse company.” In Zuckerberg’s words, this means building out “an embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content—you are in it.”

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