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Facebook changes name to Meta in embrace of virtual reality

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., speaks during the F8 Developers Conference in San Jose, California, U.S., on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Facebook Inc. is re-christening itself Meta, decoupling its corporate identity from the eponymous social network mired in toxic content, and highlighting a shift to an emerging computing platform focused on virtual reality. “The metaverse is the next frontier,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in a presentation at Facebook’s Connect conference, held virtually on Thursday. “From now on, we’re going to be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first.”

Facebook’s name change is the most definitive signal so far of the company’s intention to stake its future on a new computing platform -- the metaverse, an idea born in the imaginations of sci-fi novelists. In Facebook’s vision, people will congregate and communicate by entering virtual environments, whether they’re talking with colleagues in a boardroom or hanging out with friends in far-flung corners of the world.

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The company said its stock will start trading under a new ticker, MVRS, on Dec. 1.