Facebook becomes Meta in move beyond social media
Facebook says it is moving more into virtual reality
Facebook has rebranded its parent company name to Meta – Greek for “beyond” – in an attempt to distance itself from recent scandals and reflect its changing proposition.
It says the new holding company brand will focus on its ambitions for the “metaverse”, which would see it move increasingly into the virtual world.
However, the social network has been dogged by criticism that it has failed to manage the spread of misinformation. Critics say the name change is nothing more than an attempt to distract from its internal management shortcomings which has prompted legislators to consider regulation.
Michael Grimm, vice president of national strategic communications firm Reputation Partners, said: “It is an apt example of an often-used marketing tactic to divert attention away from negative publicity by rebranding or introducing a new identity for the company.”
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp will continue to be the public-facing names under the rebranding.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during an annual developers conference yesterday that the change would “reflect who we are and what we hope to build.
“But right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future.
“Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company. I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.
“We’ve learned a lot from struggling with social issues and living under closed platforms, and now it is time to take everything that we’ve learned and help build the next chapter.
“I am proud to announce that starting today, our company is now Meta. Our mission remains the same, still about bringing people together, our apps and their brands, they’re not changing,” he added.
“Within the next decade, Metaverse will reach a billion people, post hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers.”
An activist group calling itself The Real Facebook Oversight Board criticised the rebranding, saying the platform is harming democracy while spreading disinformation and hate.
Facebook has announced plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to build the “metaverse”, a term coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash,” in which people wear virtual reality headsets to interact inside a game-like digital world.