We heard the news – Facebook’s owner and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the company will no longer go by that name. Instead, they’re rebranding and calling themselves Meta. According to the founder, the latest development distinguishes the parent company from its debut product. It solidifies its place as a media giant. Or is it?
Let’s not forget that the social network has been under fire for some months now, in what some experts describe as the most intense scrutiny in its history. So what is the motive behind this overhaul? How does it affect its other products, including WhatsApp and Oculus?
In this opinion piece, we’ll go in-depth to uncover why Facebook changed its parent company’s name to Meta, what it means, and plans for the tech giants.
What’s in the name Meta
So, Mark chose Meta as the new name, reflecting the company’s shift towards virtual reality and the metaverse. “I’ve been thinking a lot about our identity,” he said at Thursday’s virtual event, showcasing its technological bets on the future. He added that he hoped the brand is seen “as a metaverse company.” He chose the name Mate because of its greek meaning, “beyond.” It will be based on the “metaverse” idealogy. In this virtual world, people can interact with each other digitally using avatars.
While this might sound new, Facebook isn’t the first to work on a metaverse project. Platforms like Decentraland and Soundbox already have their metaverses where NFTs are traded and events hosted with virtual public toilets.
However, Facebook plans to take it up a notch to include virtual teleportation, sort of like a “Ready Player One” scenario. But that’ll be in the coming years. The company also got a new logo like an infinity loop that forms an “M.”
What will happen to the Facebook App
Since the new change only affects the parent company, Facebook and other apps, including Instagram and Whatsapp, will retain their name. However, they will be independent products under the Meta umbrella. Mark also rebranded its augmented and virtual reality brands into a division now called Reality Labs.
Was the change genuine or strategic?
The rebranding is mainly cosmetic, given that no restructuring or executive changes were made. Mr. Zuckerberg remains CEO and chairman with veto authority over any changes that might affect the company’s future.
In recent weeks, Facebook has faced tons of criticism from the public and lawmakers. The company’s Instagram photo-sharing app has been under fire for hurting teenagers’ self-esteem. It has also been accused of propagating misinformation and stoking unrest with inflammatory content.
The metaverse focus is a “brilliant” marketing tactic that may distract the public from the concerns that have sparked enormous public outrage. However, it might not be enough.
The corporation is trying to shift the attention away from their present challenges and toward the metaverse, which is fascinating and futuristic. And frankly, nobody understands the metaverse.
What the future holds for Meta
While Mr. Zuckerberg was careful not to reveal many details, he believes that his metaverse will play an essential role for crypto technology like smart contracts and NFTs.
“One of the major concerns that consumers will have about virtual commodities in the metaverse is, ‘Do I really own this thing?'” he told Verge. “‘Or is it simply content that can be taken away from me at any time?’ That’s something I’m susceptible to, given all the constraints we’ve been under to maneuver censorship and define what’s detrimental and when you have to get in the way of people expressing themselves.”