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Facebook has announced it is changing its name to Meta as part of a major rebrand.

The social media giant, which announced the change at its annual developer conference, said the name would better "encompass" what the company now does.

The firm also unveiled its plans for a "metaverse" which will allow people to game, work and communicate in an online world with VR headsets.

The change does not apply to its individual platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, only the parent company that owns them.

This name change comes after a series of negative stories about Facebook were leaked by a former employee.

Frances Haugen accused the social media giant of putting "profits over safety".

In a statement on the Meta website, the company said: "The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world.

"It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world.

"It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company."

Facebook invested $10bn in its metaverse project in its metaverse project over the past year.

In a presentation from his home, Zuckerberg outlined his vision of the metaverse as a digital world where users can feel they are with one another.

He said: "When I send my parents a video with my kids, they’re going to feel like they’re right in the moment with us not peering through a little window."

"We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet.

"We’ll be able to feel present – like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are."

He added; "We’ll be able to express ourselves in new joyful, completely immersive ways."

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