Somewhat predictably, Zuckerberg downplayed that this rebranding, the first in Facebook's 17 years of existence, is to divert a barrage of bad PR.
"We are a company that builds technology to connect," Zuckerberg said on Thursday. "Together, we can finally put people at the centre of our technology to reflect who we are and what we hope to build."
The name "Facebook" doesn't fully encompass everything the company does now, and is still closely linked to one product, he added.
"But over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company."
"The names of the apps that we build -- Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp - will remain the same," the company's verified handle, @facebook, tweeted.
"Announcing @Meta - the Facebook company's new name. Meta is helping to build the metaverse, a place where we'll play and connect in 3D. Welcome to the next chapter of social connection," it said, attaching a short video on the four apps and the meta logo.
@meta tweets remained protected as of this writing and meta.com redirected to a welcome page that outlines the branding change.
The Verge argued that a rebrand is part of Zuckerberg's efforts to shift gears away from Facebook being known as just a social media company into plans for building the metaverse.
Zuckerberg wrote a blog on Thursday that the company's corporate structure would not be changing, but how it reports financial results will.
"Starting with our results for the fourth quarter of 2021, we plan to report on two operating segments: Family of Apps and Reality Labs," he said.