The rumors are true! Today, at Facebook’s Connect 2021 event, Facebook has announced that it’s re-named the company to better reflect its emerging focus.
Obviously, Facebook’s overarching company name will be “Meta”
Additionally, Facebook, the app, will remain, as will all of its other brand names and identities. However, like Google switching to “Alphabet” as a broader company title, Facebook’s different projects will now all come under the “Meta” banner, as it reflects its evolving focus on the next generation of digital connection.
In light of that, Facebook explains: “The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together – and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company.”
Moreover, Facebook’s broader business structure will now come under the Meta banner, as the company separating its operational streams into two segments: ‘Family of Apps’, being Facebook as we primarily know it, via Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, in addition to ‘Reality Labs’, which will cover its VR and AR technologies and other evolving tech bets.
Not only that but also Facebook will change its stock ticker from “FB” to “MVRS” on December 1st.
In light of his vision for the new entity, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a founder’s letter says:
“From now on, we will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first. That means that over time you won’t need a Facebook account to use our other services. As our new brand starts showing up in our products, I hope people around the world come to know the Meta brand and the future we stand for.”
Surely, you could read that as the Facebook brand has been tainted, and it also needs a new start, while the entire re-structure also gives Zuckerberg a chance to distance himself from Facebook, and re-align his name with the evolving metaverse concept instead.
On the other hand, maybe, that also re-frames the company as more fun and exciting and future thinking, as opposed to the Facebook that’s been increasingly marred by controversy.
Also, it won’t lessen those controversies, anyhow, it could make Facebook able to better compartmentalize each element, which could help it re-position its metaverse push as something entirely new, and separate – and ideally, built with safety in mind, along with the lessons learned from Facebook’s mistakes.
“I used to study Classics, and the word “meta” comes from the Greek word meaning “beyond”. For me, it symbolizes that there is always more to build, and there is always a next chapter to the story. Ours is a story that started in a dorm room and grew beyond anything we imagined; into a family of apps that people use to connect with one another, to find their voice, and to start businesses, communities, and movements that have changed the world.”
For sure, movements have changed the world. Not necessarily good ones.
However, re-branding is not something surprising, given that many had already deduced that “Meta” was the likely new Facebook name, along with Zuckerberg’s charitable initiatives already owning a couple of “meta” related brand titles and the company also buying up meta URLs in recent months, in anticipation of the announcement.
Moreover, in practice, that doesn’t mean any huge changes, other than flagging the company’s intention to make the evolving metaverse concept a much bigger focus, through more immersive technological advances as well as projects that will aim to make “Meta” synonymous with the next stage of digital connection.
The question is, will that work? Will re-naming Facebook in alignment with “the metaverse” help Facebook own that space, as well as ensure optimal relevance for the upcoming generation of digital consumers?
It certainly has the resources, however, there will be different challenges too in seeing these things become a reality – virtual or otherwise.
COPYRIGHTS DIGITAL MARKETING COMMUNITY 2019