By Mike Murphy
Facebook Inc. may soon have a new name.
The Verge reported Tuesday night that Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB -2.33% plans to change its company name next week, in order to align its brand name more toward the “metaverse” that CEO Mark Zuckerberg envisions, with less focus on its namesake social network. Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus are also currently under the Facebook umbrella.
The name change is expected to be revealed at Facebook’s annual Connect conference Oct. 28, or perhaps even sooner, The Verge reported.
On Monday, Facebook said it will be creating 10,000 new jobs in the European Union over the next five years as it builds its metaverse, a 3-D virtual environment using AR and VR technology that will allow users to do everything from play games with friends to conduct work and make purchases.
The new name would likely be similar to what Google did in 2015, naming the parent company Alphabet Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL -2.69% /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG -2.67% , with the search-engine company and other units under its umbrella.
Facebook’s apparent rebrand comes amid a spate of scandals and negative news, including that Facebook ignored data that found its platforms hurt young users , knowingly amplified extremism , and consistently favored profits above people .
The company is expected to announce third-quarter earnings Oct. 25. Despite the scandals, Facebook shares are up about 24% year to date, compared to the S&P 500’s /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -2.27% 20% gain.