Social media giant Facebook has rebranded its company name to Meta as part of its planned expansion strategy, and a means to accommodate more technologies from the company.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg disclosed this change on Thursday during Facebook’s Connect 2021 conference. According to him, the new name is part of the company’s elaborate plan to build a ‘metaverse’ – an online world where people can communicate, game and work in a virtual environment through VR headsets. And in his words, the name change was necessary because the existing brand could not “possibly represent everything we are doing today, let alone in the future.”
The company also unveiled a new sign and logo at its Menlo Park headquarters in California on Thursday. Thus replacing its thumbs-up “Like” logo with a blue infinity shape. This, according to Zuckerberg, is meant to accompany the new company brand and the blue gradient is a nod to the company’s heritage. In addition, Zuckerberg said the new name reflects that users will not need to use Facebook to use the company’s other services over time.
He explained that other apps and technologies owned by the company remain unchanged under Meta’s new company. At the same time, he also announced a $150-million investment in immersive learning to train the next generation of tech creators. In his words: “Our new company brand captures where our company is going and the future we want to help build.
“We chose “Meta” because it can mean “beyond,” in Greek and captures our commitment to building social technologies that take us beyond what digital connection makes possible today.” He added. It also alludes to the “Metaverse,” an online virtual oasis that might very well be the company’s future.
The establishment of Meta, which ought to be a paradigm shift for the entire Facebook suite, is focused on bringing metaverse to life and helping people connect, interact, find communities and grow businesses.
Mr. Zuckerberg concluded by saying the Meta is designed to be experienced in 3D so that it truly comes to life in the metaverse, “where you can move through it and around it.
Facebook is not the first company to toe the line of rebranding as Google had; you, in 2015, created Alphabet Inc. to serve as a parent company to every Google product. However, the name is yet to catch on among the consumers, and experts and commentators anticipate how successful Facebook’s rebranding will be in the long run.
The rebrand comes when Facebook is embroiled in several controversies, such as The Washington Post’s report that Facebook withheld important information about vaccine misinformation from policymakers during the pandemic. In addition to a series of stories based on internal documents leaked by ex-employee Ms. Haugen with claims that Facebook sat on research that showed Instagram harmed teenage mental health and struggled to remove hate speech from its platforms outside the US. However, Mr. Zuckerberg has debunked every controversy he tagged as an attempt to distract the company, media and the public.