Facebook on Thursday announced it shall now be known as Meta, a Greek word that means “after” or “beyond.” Facebook was a parent company that owned products like Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. These social media services shall now fall under the umbrella name – Meta, thereby positioning the company as more than just a social media service provider.

Speaking at the company’s annual developer event, Mark Zuckerberg explained the reason behind this name change, “To reflect who we are and what we hope to build, I am proud to announce that starting today, our company is now Meta. Our mission remains the same, bringing people together. Our apps and their brands are not changing either and we are still the company that designs technology around people…” He hoped the company shall be seen as a Metaverse.

A Metaverse is a form of virtual reality, a different form of the real world, usually a space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users. A new phase of social connection is dawning. Currently, people are interacting with each other online through websites or messaging applications.

This change of name could also be resulting from the need for the company to distance itself from all the controversy it has faced. “Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future,” Zuckerberg said.

Currently, the company’s ex-employee Ms. Frances Haugen is questioning the safety of Facebook users. She leaked evidence that it let misinformation and racist hate ooze on its platform to boost advertisement sales. In his defense, Mr. Zuckerberg said, “Good faith criticism helps us get better but my view is that what we are seeing is a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company.”