Facebook has changed its corporate name to Meta as part of a major rebrand strategy that seeks to expand and offer more clarity on what the company hopes to achieve in the near future.
Mark Zuckerberg announced the change Thursday, saying he wanted a new brand and a clearer corporate naming scheme to help focus on what’s next for the internet beyond social media.
Facebook said the new name, Meta does better to “encompass” what it does, as it broadens its reach beyond social media into areas like virtual reality (VR).
The name Meta applies to the idea of the “metaverse,” a term being used to describe a potential future internet that emphasizes virtual spaces. Zuckerberg said the metaverse will be the internet’s “next frontier.”
According to reports, the name change was driven by the recent exposure of thousands of internal corporate documents which indicated that the company was neglecting the wellbeing of its users over profits.
Frances Haugen, an ex-employee of Facebook recently released documents to the public which revealed internal employee dissent over the platform’s policies. The whistleblower also accused the company of putting “profits over safety”.
“Facebook is one of the most-used products in the history of the world. It is an iconic social media brand, but increasingly, it just doesn’t encompass everything we do,” he said in an online presentation.
“I want to anchor our work and our identity in what we are building towards,” he said.
“We’re now looking at and reporting on our business as two different segments, one for our family of apps, and one for our work on future platforms.
“And as part of this, it is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do, to reflect who we are and what we hope to build.”
Facebook has changed its parent company name to Meta
Mr Zuckerberg said the new name reflects that over time, users will not need to use Facebook to use the company’s other services. The word “meta” comes from the Greek word meaning “beyond”.
The creation of Meta is similar to Google’s decision in 2015 to restructure under a new corporate parent named Alphabet. That change separated Google’s search engine and advertising businesses from other, unproven projects, such as the development of autonomous vehicles.
Facebook hopes to create a new and better version of itself that extends beyond social media. Reports suggest that the company wants people to interact within a metaverse where they use a headset to enter a virtual world connecting all sorts of digital environments.
Marne Levine, the company’s chief business officer, also invoked antiquity as another application of the metaverse, saying Meta’s customers could transport to ancient Rome or other times in history.
“Imagine standing on the streets, hearing the sounds, visiting the markets, to get a sense of the rhythm of life over 2,000 years ago,” she said.
It is hoped the virtual world could be used for practically anything from work, play and concerts, to socialising with friends and family. Facebook said it intends to start trading its shares under the new stock ticker MVRS from 1 December.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & Spur Magazine. He is passionate about tech, games and occasionally writes about entertainment, lifestyle and so much more.