Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, announcing an overhaul, de-emphasizing Facebook’s name and rebranding itself as Meta. Zuckerberg has been committed to building the “metaverse,” a composite universe melding online, virtual and augmented worlds that people can seamlessly traverse. Image Credit: Facebook via NYT

Facebook Inc said on Thursday it would rebrand as Meta, a name change that comes as the company battles criticisms from lawmakers and regulators over its market power, its algorithmic decisions and the policing of abuses on its platforms.

The tech giant said the change would bring together its different apps and technologies under one new brand. It said it would not change its corporate structure.

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CEO Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the company's live-streamed virtual and augmented reality conference, said the new name reflected its focus on building the metaverse.

The metaverse, a term first coined in a dystopian novel three decades ago and now attracting buzz in Silicon Valley, refers broadly to the idea of a shared virtual environment which can be accessed by people using different devices.