Zuckerberg announces new company name
Facebook is redistributing its names under a famous parent company: Meta.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the change on Thursday, saying he wanted a new brand and a clearer image company name scheme to help focus on the future of the internet beyond social media.
The rebranding comes as Facebook faces a deluge of news and public scrutiny based on thousands of internal company documents obtained by news outlets, including NBC News. The documents, from former product manager and Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, reveal internal employee disagreement over the platform’s policies.
The change will not affect the company’s signature blue app name, which will retain the Facebook name. But that will mean a new identity for the corporate umbrella which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp.
With the Messenger application, Meta will own and control four of the world’s most popular smartphone apps.
The name is a nod to the idea of “metaverse,” a term for a potential future Internet that emphasizes virtual spaces. Zuckerberg said the metaverse would be the Internet’s “next frontier”.
“Facebook is one of the most widely used products in the history of the world. It’s an iconic brand of social media, but increasingly it just doesn’t encompass everything we do,” a- he said during an online presentation.
“I want to anchor our work and our identity in what we are building towards,” he said.
Facebook’s focus on the idea of a metaverse has many precedents in other tech companies, from the virtual world Second Life founded in 2003 to the online gaming platform Roblox. It has also been the subject of many science fiction novels and films such as “Ready Player One”.
Zuckerberg, who has long been interested in the study of classical Greece and Rome, noted that “meta” in Greek means “beyond.”
The company’s stock ticker will also switch from FB to MVRS effective December 1, CNBC reported.
The creation of Meta recalls Google’s decision in 2015 to restructure under a new parent company called Alphabet. This change separated Google’s search engine and advertising business from other unproven projects, such as the development of autonomous vehicles.
In 2019, Facebook changed its branding strategy to focus on the Facebook name, adding tags to Instagram and WhatsApp apps to make the relationship clearer to users. It did so at the same time that lawmakers and other Facebook critics called on the government to dissolve the company – something the Federal Trade Commission is now asking a federal court to do.
The Verge, a tech news website, reported in mid-October that Facebook was planning to announce a name change to “focus on building the metaverse.”
“Over the next five years or so, in this next chapter of our business, I think we’ll actually go from people who see us primarily as a social media business to a metaverse business,” Zuckerberg told the website in July.
The announcement of the new name and the new structure came after a presentation of the company’s projects in terms of virtual and augmented reality. Zuckerberg described some uses of an immersive virtual experience, ranging from games and pretend surfing to business meetings, digital concerts, and exercise.
“You’re going to be able to do almost anything you can imagine,” Zuckerberg said.
“Teleporting into the metaverse will be like clicking a link on the web,” he said.
Marne Levine, the company’s sales director, also cited antiquity as another metaverse app, saying Meta clients could visit ancient Rome or other times in history.
“Imagine standing in the streets, hearing the sounds, visiting the markets, to get a feel for the pace of life over 2,000 years ago,” she said.
Facebook entered the virtual reality business with its takeover of Oculus VR in 2014 for $ 2 billion. His Oculus headsets are now the basis for Zuckerberg’s metaverse plans, and he said he plans to continue selling the headsets at cost or at a loss to try to increase user numbers.