The famous company Facebook has now changed its name to “Meta”. In a 1 hour and 17 minutes online presentation, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has urged users to acknowledge Facebook as “Meta”. Similarly, the new name is just an attempt to focus on metaverse. It will, later on, be the future of social networking. However, there is speculation going around regarding the rebrand of Facebook. Facebook is probably attempting to move on from the criticisms it has faced in recent weeks and years.
What does it mean for the Facebook app?
According to the CEO of Facebook (now Meta), people have perceived Facebook as a social media company. While in actuality, it is the company that builds the technology to connect the people. Hence, the Metaverse will be the next frontier, just like social networking when they started. Having been said that, the blue app will still exist but only as one of the many services that Meta offers. Just like Instagram and Whatsapp, the Facebook app will serve its purpose. Besides, CEO Zuckerberg said they are changing the company name hoping, the users might adjust their thinking about the company. Their ever-presenting and problem-free social media will now instead live under the “Meta” brand. At the same time, the company has replaced its corporate logo “thumbs up” with a “blue infinity sign”. Moreover, the company plans to focus on virtual and augmented reality.
At connect, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “From now on, we are going to be the metaverse first. Not Facebook first. Facebook is one of the most-used products in the world. But increasingly, it doesn’t encompass everything that we do. The existing brand couldn’t possibly represent everything we are doing as our brand is so tightly linked to one product.”
Why this sudden change of name?
On keynote, Zuckerberg says that the existing brand could not possibly represent all they are doing today, let alone in the future. Therefore, it was necessary to change the brand name. He hoped to be viewed as a metaverse company. He also wants to anchor their work and identity in what they are building. Similarly, he has unveiled his plans to create a “metaverse” online world. It will be the platform through which people can use VR headsets to work, play a game and communicate in a virtual environment.
On the other hand, there is a lot of discussion going around saying the company decided on a wave of criticism after releasing thousands of internal documents. After a whistleblower had leaked hundreds of internal documents, Facebook faced intense scrutiny. On top of that, Facebook has been facing allegations about misinformation and the lack of content on its platforms. Meanwhile, there has been controversy about the company, like they have ignored the risks of its design decisions and exposed vulnerable communities worldwide to an amalgam of misleading content.
The disclosures have certainly left an arguable challenge to Zuckerberg and his team. Similarly, there are different speculations and comparisons going around have been made. However, they have taken everything under control. They have assured the users that privacy and safety will be built into the new generation of products. Similarly, Zuckerberg expresses that the future will represent the internet where you will be in the experience, not just looking at it.
Crisis Brought on by Facebook Papers
The major allegations made in Facebook Paper were that the company has developed and employed social media technology without understanding its harmful effects. Critics are afraid that the metaverse will hit the same problems—just as Zuckerberg said that people would live part of their lives in their virtual world.
Further scandals in recent years, such as the Russian disinformation surrounding the 2016 presidential elections and the Cambridge crisis analysis have highlighted unsuitable sharing of Personal Data.
However, the current crisis is more existential for the company. It was the damage caused by an insider-only. The Facebook documents also touch upon each aspect of the service and highlight fundamental deficiencies in its algorithm architecture, platform design, and policy.
Does change name means they are diverting the audiences from controversy?
Facebook is not only the Silicon Valley firm to rebrand itself. In 2015, Google turned the name of its parent to Alphabet to unify a company behemoth which included both advertising for search and display and driver-free automobiles. In an attempt to rebrand itself as a camera company, Snapchat changed its name to Snap Inc. Similarly, Zuckerberg explained the reason for rebranding Facebook as it was linked with only one product. Moreover, Zuckerberg said that his love for classics inspired the name ‘meta’ from the Greek word ‘beyond. Zuckerberg said, “For me, this symbolizes the constant need to build more, and the next chapter in this story is always.”
In his keynote, Zuckerberg said the process of becoming a metaverse company would take a “decade”. However, his goal is for it to “reach one billion people”. The company said that its investment in metaverse includes a commitment to employ 10,000 new employees in hardware jobs. It will spend $ 10 billion from its 2021 profits.
What is the “metaverse”?
Firstly, the term metaverse comes from science fiction. It has been used in recent years by venture capitalists as a way of speaking about interconnected services. The metaverse offers virtual space for social gathering, gaming, and workplace concepts. Zuckerberg has envisioned the future of his company in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
Through Connect, he started talking about how this summer company would become a new identity. He then announced a smart-glasses partnership with Ray-Ban. Similarly, an idea to use its virtual reality headsets for video conferencing related to work. He promoted Andrew Bosworth to become the new technical manager of the company. His longstanding friend will now lead the hardware branch. Moreover, the political dimension of the rebrand began months before Haugen came out with Facebook Papers. Facebook managers spent part of the summer presenting the Meta version idea to Washington think tanks and planning to expand their knowledge to federal agencies that could regulate their hardware.
Zuckerberg also presents videos showing how the metaverse looks. It showed people are being connected to various locations and times as avatars and transported to digital versions. He said the metaverse focuses on protecting security and privacy.
There is no doubt but, the Company Facebook has mostly linked to the Facebook app. Meanwhile, the Facebook company has its other significant works too. Even in Keynote, Mark Zuckerberg has presented their vision for Meta. The plan is to build the next version of the internet around people. Hence if we put the controversies aside, the rebrand of the name is justifiable.
Besides, our privacy concerns are just like people worrying about the internet in the mid-90s. Just like children of the 2000s have embraced the internet, the 2020s kids will open their arms for VR, AR, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and everything web 3.0.
Having been said that, it is always better to be safe than sorry regarding your private data and information. In conclusion, Meta is now a different company with different goals. And CEO of Meta anticipates, the metaverse will be just as real and persuading as to the present world in the next 5-10 years.