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As he faces scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators at home and abroad, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday announced a re-brand of the company he founded in 2004.
ZUCKERBERG: "Our company is now Meta."
The name change comes as the world's largest social media company battles criticism over its market power, algorithm and abuse on its platforms.
Speaking at the company's live-streamed virtual and augmented reality conference, Zuckerberg said it reflects the company’s ambitions to build the metaverse, which it bets will be the successor to the mobile internet.
ZUCKERBERG: "You're going to be able to do almost anything you can imagine. Get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create, as well as entirely new categories that don't really fit how we think about computers or phones today."
A term coined in a dystopian novel three decades ago and now buzzing in Silicon Valley, metaverse refers broadly to the idea of a shared virtual environment.
The company, which has invested heavily in augmented and virtual reality, said the change would bring together its different apps and technologies under one new brand, and would not change its corporate structure.
With about 2.9 billion monthly users, the company has faced increasing scrutiny..
Especially after Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked documents she said showed the company chose profit over user safety.
Zuckerberg earlier this week said the documents were being used to paint a "false picture."
On Thursday, ss Zuckerberg addressed the conference, the company unveiled a new sign at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, replacing its thumbs-up "Like" logo with a blue infinity icon.
Its stock ticker will also change to MVRS on December 1st. But the company's namesake social media service will continue to be called Facebook.