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Facebook reportedly plans to rename itself

The new name will reflect focus on the metaverse, The Verge reports.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Goodbye, Facebook?

Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook is planning to give itself a new name next week to reflect its focus on the metaverse, The Verge reported Tuesday.

The social media giant's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg , plans to discuss Facebook's rebranding at the company's annual Connect conference on Oct. 28, but an announcement could come sooner, The Verge reported, citing an unidentified source with direct knowledge of the matter.

Like Google's creation of its parent Alphabet in 2015, a rebranded Facebook would likely create an umbrella company that oversees the Facebook app, as well as Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus, among others.

The idea of a metaverse -- a computer-generated environment where people can interact with each other using AR, VR and other technologies -- is something Facebook has been discussing since it acquired virtual reality headset maker Oculus in 2014. Building out the metaverse is of interest to many large tech companies, with developers comparing it to the internet in terms of openness and interoperability.

The concept of a metaverse helmed by Facebook has received some pushback. On Tuesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey suggested the idea was dystopian in response to a tweet questioning Zuckerberg's ambitions. 

News of the planned rebranding comes a day after the company announced in a blog post that it will be hiring around 10,000 people from within the EU to fill highly skilled roles working on Horizon Worlds, a 3D virtual play space, over the next five years.

It's also kicked off online speculation about what the company's new name could be. Some have reportedly suggested names such as FB or Horizon, though others seem to be getting behind Meta as a contender.

Facebook declined to address the report, saying it doesn't comment on rumor or speculation.