- The company's new ticker, META, will replace FB.
- The firm rebranded in October after revealing long-term metaverse plans.
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Social media giant Facebook made its metaverse intentions clear last fall by rebranding as Meta, and despite some harsh criticism and a tumbling stock price, the company is standing firm—and changing its stock ticker to match its ambitions.
Meta confirmed on Tuesday that it will change its Nasdaq ticker to META beginning June 9. The news broke via a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which stated that the change will take place before the start of trading on that date.
Meta, which currently trades under FB, had planned to adopt MVRS as its new ticker on December 1, but that move was delayed. As CNBC notes, Roundhill Investments previously used META for its Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF, but announced in January that it would change it to METV.
The metaverse refers to a future version of the internet that many in the tech world believe will be built on blockchain technology. It’s expected to be a more immersive experience in which people use avatars to socialize, shop, work, and play, potentially with the ability to use NFTs—including as avatars and for apparel—across a wide variety of online spaces.
Facebook shared its vision for the space in an extensive video presentation last October, in which co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg explored a variety of shared spaces as a cartoonish version of himself. The demo featured online events (like concerts), games, and work scenarios, including the use of the firm’s Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset.
While the presentation depicted an ambitious vision for a new stage of the company’s business, which is estimated to take several years to build, the pivot concerned some investors regarding the amount of resources required and whether users would actually use it.
Meta’s stock price has fallen significantly in the months since, particularly following a Q4 2021 earnings miss in February. FB is currently trading for just over $192 a share as of this writing, down from nearly $317 on the day that it changed its name to Meta. That said, many tech stocks have struggled lately, as has the cryptocurrency market.
Meta has yet to state whether it plans on using blockchain technology for its metaverse aims, along with cryptocurrency and interoperable NFT assets. The firm’s Instagram photo-sharing app recently added NFT support, however, and Facebook will gain the functionality soon.
Some crypto builders who have been working on metaverse applications and assets for years have warned of Facebook’s potential interest in a closed metaverse, or a “walled garden.” Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of metaverse investor Animoca Brands, labeled Facebook and Chinese tech giant Tencent as “threats” to an open, interoperable metaverse.
In a recent podcast interview with entrepreneur Tom Bilyeu, Zuckerberg suggested that he’s open to the idea of Facebook’s metaverse using NFT assets that aren’t locked to the platform.
“I think in a lot of experiences, especially social ones where people are getting together and want to express something about themselves, you're going to want these things to transfer,” said Zuckerberg.
“I would imagine that if we make this pretty easy for it to be interoperable, then there's going to be a lot of developers [who] will choose for that to be the case, even if not everyone does,” he continued. “So I think that’s going to be pretty powerful.”