Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to sunset its Meta project

Facebook Connect / Meta event October 2021

Meta; screenshot by CNET

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a foundation established by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, said Thursday that it will sunset its biomedical research project called Meta next year. The news came right after Zuckerberg announced the formation of a new parent company for Facebook called Meta

Brand assets from Meta were transferred to Facebook following the foundation’s decision to deprioritize the project, according to Jeff MacGregor, the vice president of communications for science at CZI. He added that the terms of the agreement are confidential.

“Earlier this summer, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative made the decision to deprioritize the development of Meta in order to focus our efforts on three key priority areas where we believe our Science Technology team can make an outsized impact: imaging, single-cell biology, and infectious disease,” MacGregor said. 

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative made the Meta project public in 2019. According to its site, “Meta is a biomedical research discovery tool that analyzes & connects millions of scientific outputs to give you a comprehensive view into science.” Support for the project will continue until March 31, 2022. 

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Zuckerberg broke the news of the company’s new name Thursday during Facebook Connect 2021, a virtual-reality-focused event. Meta will be the parent company for Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook’s virtual and augmented reality assets. 

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