Facebook welcomes the “metaverse”: a whole new look for the multi-billion dollar platform that faced major consequences from an incident earlier this year. 

After Facebook’s whistleblower incident that jeopardized the company’s reputation this year, Chief Executive Officer of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday made the call to rebrand Facebook as Meta. Along with the name change, the company created a new corporate logo designed like an infinity-shaped symbol.

Zuckerberg said the purpose of the transformation to Meta is to effectively demote Facebook’s namesake service to being just one of the company’s subsidiaries, alongside Instagram and WhatsApp, rather than the overarching brand.  

Focusing on the future of digital technology, Zuckerberg plans to create the ultimate metaverse, which is the unification of disparate digital worlds, and incorporate a shared virtual reality experience. Instead of the current project of connected social apps with their minimal hardware settings, he believes in an entirely new universe. 

“I’ve been thinking a lot about our identity with this new chapter,” Zuckerberg said, speaking at a virtual event on Thursday to showcase Facebook’s technological bets on the future. “Over time, I hope we’re seen as a metaverse company.”

The goal in promoting a metaverse is to bring online social experiences together into a hybrid fashion, where people can connect in an entirely new virtual world. The company said it will let you share immersive experiences with others even when you can’t be together — and do things together you wouldn’t be able to do in person. 

The company revealed this week it will spend about $10 billion over the next year fine tuning the technologies required for building the metaverse.

Zuckerberg provided a demo of the metaverse last week showing a Pixar-like animation that the company hopes to create one day. The demo included users hanging out in space as cartoon-like versions of themselves or fantastical characters.  

Along with the new futuristic approach, Zuckerberg believes renaming the brand will minimize the negative reputation the company continues to face, including how it is used to spread hate speech and misinformation. 

U.S. lawmakers criticized Facebook last month, accusing Zuckerberg of pressing for larger profits while being dismissive about user safety. They demanded regulators investigate whistleblower accusations that the platform harms children’s mental health and stokes divisions.

Zuckerberg defended the company in a public Facebook post by saying the accusations didn’t correspond with Facebook’s goals. 

“The argument that we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical,” he wrote. “We make money from ads, and advertisers consistently tell us they don’t want their ads next to harmful or angry content. And I don’t know any tech company that sets out to build products that make people angry or depressed.” 

Frances Haugen, former product manager on the civic misinformation team at Facebook, appeared last month on the CBS television program “60 Minutes,” revealing her identity as the whistleblower. She unveiled tens of thousands of private documents that helped justify allegations in a Wall Street Journal investigation and a Senate hearing on Instagram’s harm to teen girls. 

Haugen said Zuckerberg should step down from his position at the company he built.“I think it is unlikely the company will change if he remains the CEO,” said Haugen. “And I hope that he can see that there is so much good that he could do in the world and maybe it’s a chance for someone else to maybe take the reins.”

Haugen also addressed the company’s change to Meta. 

“I find it unconscionable that, as you read through the documents, it states very clearly there needs to be more resources on very basic safety systems. And instead of investing on making sure that our platforms are a minimal level of safe, they’re about to invest ten thousand engineers in video games and I can’t imagine how this makes sense,” Haugen said.

Zuckerberg remains adamant that the company was never in the wrong and said he is looking forward to rebranding Facebook as Meta.