Facebook has announced this week the new company name: Meta.
The name change is designed to reflect its current focus to build a metaverse.
The name change was introduced by CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the company's annual Connect conference, which took place on October 28th. The company says that it wants to deviate away from its current identity as a social media company.
Even though it will continue to operate some of the biggest social media platforms in the world, the company is looking forward to new and exciting projects, the metaverse included. Besides, the company has come under fire due to how it runs its social media platforms.
For instance, Facebook as a platform has been the source of misinformation and conspiracy theories over the past few years on a wide range of subjects, including COVID-19. All these scandals have largely been associated with Facebook as a brand and as such, everything else the company launches under that name will be subjected to the failings of the social media platform.
According to specialists, the plan is to create a company under which all Facebook apps will be run. Think of it as a social media version of Alphabet Inc., the company behind Google, YouTube, and many other companies. Facebook has been working very hard to diversify its business away from social media.
The company, of course, generates billions of dollars in ad revenue from these platforms but it wants to do more. For example, right now they have over 10,000 employees who are working to develop the hardware needed for Augmented Reality glasses. Facebook believes that AR is going to become as widespread as smartphones are today and is hoping to lead the way in that industry.
Mark Zuckerberg has also said in the past that Facebook’s ultimate goal was to transition from a place where people see it as a social media company to more of a metaverse company.
There is also hope that by deviating from Facebook, the team there will avoid the kind of scrutiny the social media platform has faced over the years.
Facebook has such a bad reputation that despite owning the Oculus Quest – an excellent VR headset with exclusive access to Resident Evil 4 VR and soon GTA San Andreas VR, many refused to adopt the product because you are obligated to create a Facebook account to use it.
The company has recently announced that the Facebook account will no longer be necessary to use the Oculus Quest, but with their shift to the metaverse, this probably won’t hold for long.
More than a name change
Facebook is not the first company to reorganize under a new name. As noted above, Google transitioned all its assets to a holding company called Alphabet in 2015. Snapchat also rebranded to Snap Inc, following the same footsteps as Google.
But Facebook’s move is more than just a name change. While there are of course a lot of companies that will come under the new name, the change is more or less inspired by Facebook's ambition to dominate the next generation of technology.
"In this future, you will be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parents’ living room to catch up. This will open up more opportunities no matter where you live. You’ll be able to spend more time on what matters to you, cut down time in traffic, and reduce your carbon footprint."
The social media company is positioning itself to be a leading tech giant not just in social media, but all other aspects of tech. After all, Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear several times that the Metaverse is going to be the main focus of the company moving forward.
Zuckerberg certainly has the advantage in technology and sells his ambitions well enough, but it’s still too early to say how the “metaverse” will fit into our future – for better or for worse.