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First Meta, now Block: Square announces name change

Square has gone the way of Google and Facebook ... er, Alphabet and Meta.

Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Square, listens during the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami. (Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg)

It’s been two days since Jack Dorsey has focused his sole attention on payment processing company Square, and he’s already announced a company name change.

Square tweeted Wednesday that its corporate name would become Block to encompass its varied brands from payment processing service Square, to music streaming app Tidal, to an emerging bitcoin business now called Spiral.

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Square follows in the footsteps of both Facebook and Google, which changed their corporate names to Meta and Alphabet, respectively. The name changes are a way to better represent all the company’s businesses — or critics say a way to distance themselves from regulatory scrutiny — but none of them have so far gained much traction with consumers, who stick to the familiar, old names.

The company said the name is expected to officially change around Dec. 10 when it has satisfied legal requirements and files with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Dorsey left his post as chief executive of Twitter earlier this week, saying at the time that he was choosing his company over his ego as a founder. But Dorsey has also faced pressure to leave because investors were concerned he was overcommitted by serving as chief executive of both the social media company and Square.

Square’s new name is at least a partial nod to Dorsey’s pursuit of promoting and working on projects involving cryptocurrency bitcoin. Square has been working on various projects involving bitcoin, including a hardware wallet for the cryptocurrency and a bitcoin mining system.

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Dorsey on Wednesday retweeted a company tweet that began with “Not to get all meta on you … but we’re going to!”

Dorsey has a history of making subtle jabs at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, including on Monday when he wrote that there is often too much emphasis placed on the value of companies that are led by their founders. Zuckerberg is the last among a group of prominent Silicon Valley founders to continue serving as CEO.

As for Square’s new name, it “has many associated meanings for the company — building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a section of code, and obstacles to overcome,” Square said in its news release.

Square’s businesses will keep their current names, including Square, Tidal, Spiral and CashApp. (Square announced this on Twitter with a GIF of Jennifer Lopez’s “Jenny from the Block.”)