Meta Platforms Coordinates: 37°29′06″N 122°08′54″W Meta Platforms, Inc.,  doing business as Meta,  and formerly named Facebook, Inc., and TheFacebook, Inc.,   is an American multinational technology conglomerate based in Menlo Park, California.
Meta Platforms, Inc., known before 2021 as Facebook, Inc., is an American multinational Internet corporation which owns Facebook. It was owned by Mark Zuckerberg, other founders and the shared ownership given to its employees but it went public on February 1, 2012, and was headquartered in Menlo Park, California.
- Facebook, Inc.
- Public company
- Facebook controversies
- The metaverse’s legacy
Meta, parent company of the social network Facebook, the popular photo- and video-sharing network Instagram, and the instant-messaging services WhatsApp and Messenger. The name reflects an emphasis on the “metaverse,” where users interact in virtual reality environments. Facebook changed its name to Meta in October 2021 in an effort to rehabilitate...
Facebook was founded in 2004 by Harvard University students Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. Facebook became the largest social network in the world, with nearly three billion users as of 2021, about half of whom were using Facebook every day.
Facebook acquired Instagram, the popular social-media application for sharing photographs and videos, in 2012. It acquired Oculus Virtual Reality in 2014. Facebook’s largest acquisition was the instant-messaging service WhatsApp, which it purchased in 2015.
In 2018 a whistleblower exposed how Facebook user data had been shared without user consent with the U.K.-based firm Cambridge Analytica. This information was subsequently used in an effort to influence election outcomes worldwide. That same year the Facebook algorithm reduced the prevalence of journalistic posts and boosted content from friends and family, which led to an increase in hate speech and conspiracy theories. Also in 2018 another whistleblower turned over tens of thousands of internal company documents showing that Facebook had given certain celebrities “VIP” status, enabling them to post harmful content without repercussions, and had known about Instagram’s negative impact on teenage mental health, especially in exacerbating body dissatisfaction and eating disorders and stoking desire for cosmetic surgery.
The presence of hate speech centring on the murder of George Floyd, misinformation about COVID-19, and conspiracies about the 2020 U.S. presidential election on Facebook triggered employees to continue to challenge company policies, but Facebook still faced little consequence from lawmakers.
Such controversies hurt Facebook’s reputation and garnered criticism about “big tech” and the lack of government regulation of the company. At the same time, Zuckerberg became enthusiastic about the idea of a metaverse in which users would create avatars and attend virtual events. He emphasized elements of privacy and safety, addressing widespread lack of trust in Facebook.
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However, as of October 2022, Meta had incurred $13.7 billion in total losses that year on metaverse development. It also saw low user engagement and quality issues with its metaverse applications. In a February 2023 Facebook post, Zuckerberg announced that the company was pivoting away from the metaverse to focus on generative artificial intelligence to build “creative and expressive tools,” with the metaverse being deemed relevant for a smaller, targeted audience, such as video game players.
- Tara Ramanathan
Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook, Inc.) is a technology company that has acquired 91 other companies, including WhatsApp. The WhatsApp acquisition closed at a steep $16 billion; more than $40 per user of the platform.
Oct 28, 2021 · October 28, 2021 Today at Connect 2021, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta, which brings together our apps and technologies under one new company brand. Meta’s focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.
Meta (formerly the Facebook company) builds technologies that help people connect, find communities and grow businesses. We're moving beyond 2D screens and into immersive experiences like virtual and augmented reality, helping create the next evolution of social technology.
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