Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta Platforms underscored its commitment to the Metaverse, announcing that its old familiar stock symbol FB – for Facebook, the company’s old name – will change to META on June 9. Shares of the company that also owns Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp said the new Nasdaq ticker “aligns with the company’s rebranding.”
Facebook announced the corporate name change last October, unveiling plans to spend tens of billions of dollars on what Zuckerberg called “the next chapter of social connection” but Wall Street worries may be a sinkhole.
“From now on, we’re going to be the metaverse first. Not Facebook first,” the founder said during a keynote at a company event. The pivot astonished the industry, flummoxed investors, confused employees and was no boon to Facebook’s share price. It came amid a stream of negative press last fall with story after story impugning the company’s business practices including privacy breaches, hate speech and misinformation — inflamed by a trove of leaked documents by whistleblower Frances Haugen. A shift to the Metaverse also came as rivals like TikTok have moved in.
Facebook shares closed down a hair today at $193, well off their 55-week high of $384. Its sharpest dip was in February after reporting disappointing earnings and its first ever quarter-to-quarter dip in Facebook daily active users.
Zuckerberg first introduced Wall Street to the “Metaverse” a year ago, describing a sweeping reimagining of his company over time entailing massive annual investments. “It’s the future we are working towards. A virtual environment where you can be present with people in a digital space. An embodied Internet that you are inside of,” he said during a conference call
The company’s Oculus division is a pioneer in augmented and virtual reality headsets and content.
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