So Facebook Inc changed its corporate name to Meta on Thursday, this move seems designed to aggressively distance itself from a social-media business embroiled in crisis and rebrand itself as a forward-looking creator of a new digital world known as the “metaverse.”
In a 75-minute online presentation, CEO Mark Zuckerberg urged users to adjust their thinking about the company, which he said had outgrown its ubiquitous and problematic social media app — a platform that will continue to be known as Facebook. Instead, he said, the company plans to focus on what Zuckerberg described as the next wave of computing: a virtual universe where people will roam freely as avatars, attending virtual business meetings, shopping in virtual stores and socializing at virtual get-togethers.
“From now on, we’re going to be the metaverse first. Not Facebook first,” Zuckerberg said at Connect, the company’s annual event focused on virtual and augmented reality. “Facebook is one of the most-used products in the world. But increasingly, it doesn’t encompass everything that we do. Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything we are doing.”Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the change at the company’s annual Connect event on Oct. 28. Facebook’s social media platform will keep its current name. (Facebook)
The revelations by whistleblower Frances Haugen represent arguably the most profound challenge yet to Zuckerberg and his company, which ranks as the largest social media platform in the world. Critics swiftly criticized the move, comparing it to the crisis strategy employed by tobacco company Phillip Morris when it became clear that the company had long known that cigarettes damage human health.
Zuckerberg said the rebrand would heed the “lessons” of the past, noting in a blog post that privacy and safety would be built into the new generation of products “from Day One” — a clear nod to Facebook’s record of eroding trust. In his keynote address, he also nodded to Facebook’s problems, saying, “The last few years have been humbling for me and my company in a lot of ways.”
Zuckerberg’s keynote was filled with a dizzying array of scenes that showcased the company’s vision for the metaverse. It included Zuckerberg doing his favorite water sport, hydrofoiling, with friends in a virtual environment, and then jumping into work meetings from a virtual home office, boxing with virtual avatars and working out on a virtual lily pad.
In a letter on the company’s website posted shortly after the keynote, Zuckerberg said that the future would be “an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build.”
Zuckerberg began talking about how the company would transition to a new identity this summer.He subsequently announced a smart-glasses partnership with Ray-Ban and a plan to use its virtual reality headsets for work-related videoconferencing. He promoted a longtime friend who heads the hardware division, Andrew Bosworth, to become the company’s new chief technology officer.
The term “metaverse” comes from science fiction and has been popularized by venture capitalists in recent years as a way to talk about interconnected services.
Facebook also isn’t the first Silicon Valley company to rebrand itself. Google changed its parent company’s name to Alphabet in 2015 in an attempt to unify a corporate behemoth that encompassed not only search-and-display advertising but also driverless cars and a life-sciences division. Snapchat changed its name to Snap Inc. in an attempt to rebrand itself as a camera company.
Facebook changed its Corporate Name to Meta the name Meta , why the name ?
Zuckerberg said that the name “meta” was inspired by his love of the classics, and that it comes from the Greek word “beyond.”
“For me, it symbolizes that there is always more to build, and there is always a next chapter to the story.”