Facebook plans to break out its VR, AR business

From CNET: Facebook didn't get a new name as widely expected, but the social network did unveil a new reporting structure. On Monday, the social media giant said it would begin reporting results as two businesses: its core family of social networking apps and its Facebook Reality Labs, which houses its augmented and virtual reality efforts.

Under the new structure, which will take effect for the company's fourth-quarter earnings, Facebook will provide revenue and operating profit for its Family of Apps and Facebook Reality Labs businesses. Family of Apps includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and other services, the social network said in a statement. Facebook Reality Labs will include augmented and virtual reality hardware, software and content.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has indicated that he sees the metaverse, an online social hub where avatars can meet, as central to Facebook's future. The company, which made the announcement as it reported mixed third-quarter earnings results, committed to spending $10 billion on Facebook Reality Labs this year and more in the future.

The revamped structure followed reports that Facebook would change its name, speculation that comes as the company grapples with damning whistleblower allegations that it prioritizes profits over safety. Over the past several days, a group of news outlets has published a series of stories that suggest the company knows about the harm its platforms cause to the mental health of teenagers, democracy and developing countries such as India. The series, known as the Facebook Papers, are based on thousands of documents gathered by Frances Haugen, a former product manager, who has testified before both Congress and Parliament about the social media company. The stories follow a similar project by The Wall Street Journal that was also based on documents leaked by Haugen.

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