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(Pocket-lint) - Rumour has it that social media giant Facebook is planning on changing its name.

While some may believe that this is in order to make a move away from the recent negative media attention and whistleblowing, sources suggest it's actually to build a focus on the "metaverse". 

The metaverse is something Facebook has been hinting at for a while now and we're likely to hear more about it during Facebook Connect on 28 October. The metaverse has been described by Facebook as "...a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality."

In order to make it clear that Facebook is more than just a social media app, the company is planning on re-branding to reflect these future changes to the organisation. This move is similar to the action taken by Google when it created the umbrella company Alphabet in order to move away from being seen purely as a search engine. 

Therefore the upcoming Facebook rebranding will likely re-position the Facebook app we know and love/loathe as one of several products or services under the new parent company. After all, Facebook now owns WhatsApp, Oculus, Instagram, Onavo and more. So it makes sense to change things up. 

Earlier this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The Verge that things were going to change and "we will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company."

He also said that the metaverse is "...going to be a big focus, and I think that this is just going to be a big part of the next chapter for the way that the internet evolves after the mobile internet."

So things are certainly about to change. Facebook has made as much clear with the announcement that it's planning on creating 10,000 new jobs in Europe in the next five years in order to build the metaverse. 

We'll find out more shortly. 

Writing by Adrian Willings. Originally published on 21 October 2021.