It's no secret that Facebook has fallen off as of late with dwindling enthusiasm for the social media platform. Coupled with recent outages and congressional hearings over data collection, privacy, safety practices and antitrust violations, it's clear that things need to change at Facebook in a big way and that might just entail a rebrand.

According to the Verge, the company is currently considering a name change as a part of its efforts to build a "metaverse." A term coined by sci-fi novelist Neal Stephenson in his 1992 book Snow Crash, a metaverse is virtual space where users can interact with one another in a way that goes beyond just viewing content.

Zuckerberg talked about his intentions to broaden Facebook's horizons back in July, "I think over the next five years or so, in this next chapter of our company, I think we will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company," he said.

Apparently, this new name is being kept a closely guarded secret that isn't even known to those in senior level positions but is expected to potentially be discussed as a part of Facebook's Connect conference taking place next week. The company has been steadily making moves towards diversifying their offerings, dedicating 10,000 employees towards working on metaverse things such as AR glasses, VR platforms and more.

Facebook seemed to prime its workforce for the coming shift towards being a metaverse company with a post titled "Building the Metaverse Responsibly." The post goes on to outline the basics of what the metaverse is exactly, how Facebook plans to work with the government, other industries and institutions to make sure it's made ethically and its plan of investment. "We develop technology rooted in human connection that brings people together," the post reads. "As we focus on helping to build the next computing platform, our work across augmented and virtual reality and consumer hardware will deepen that human connection regardless of physical distance and without being tied to devices."

Ironically, the novel that initially coined the term devised the metaverse as virtual escape from a dystopian reality overrun by unfettered capitalism which, in Facebook's hands, can only bode well for our own future.

Photo via Getty/ JOEL SAGET/ AFP

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