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Facebook Stock Gains Amid Mega Meta Brand Pivot

Facebook stock gains as investors digest the company’s new name and brand -- Meta -- and the virtual reality 3D universe it is potentially looking to pivot to.

Facebook  (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report stock gained on Friday as investors digested the company’s new name and brand, Meta, and the virtual reality 3D universe it is potentially looking to pivot to as part of its longer-term strategy of veering away from being a giant social networking platform.

Facebook shares were up 2.11% at $321.71 after Facebook announced it was officially changing its name to Meta – and its stock ticker to  (MVRS) - Get Meta Report. Meta as 'MVRS' will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 1.

At a Thursday event showcasing the company's turn toward virtual reality, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the world's biggest social network will now be part of an umbrella company named Meta. Divisions under Meta will be Facebook (the website and app), WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus, Portal, and others.

The rebrand comes as Facebook faces a series of public relations crises, most notably leaked documents now known as the Facebook Papers, which have exposed the inner workings of the company and its penchant for putting profits ahead of combatting hate speech and misinformation.

At the same time, it comes as the world pivots to new level of technology and digital reality where engineers and developers are working on the next digital iterations of everything from art in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to real-time conversations and events to, of course, augmented and virtual reality gaming.

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"In this future, you will be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parents’ living room to catch up," Zuckerberg wrote. "This will open up more opportunity no matter where you live. You’ll be able to spend more time on what matters to you, cut down time in traffic, and reduce your carbon footprint."

In a research note, J.P.Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth said that while game creators are early adopters of this platform, there is potential for virtual fitness, workplace, education and others to join the metaverse train.

“Similar to its current strategy with FB Family, we believe the company plans to charge minimal fees over time to maximize the creator economy,” Anmuth wrote.

"Critics are going to say Facebook can’t succeed because the company lacks the public trust like Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report, Alphabet  (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report, Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report or Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report," TheStreet's Jon Markman wrote back in July

"This is simply not true. Facebook has 3 billion members. It won social. The metaverse is going to be huge."

Separately, shares of Meta Materials  (MMATF) - Get Metamaterial Inc Report, an unrelated Canadian company, rose 4.6% to $4.77 in pre-market trading on Friday. Meta Materials is now worth about $1.33 billion, as of current share price.