Facebook’s new official corporate name is Meta. On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg became the CEO and chairman of the new parent company for Facebook, “Meta”. The rebrand is about solidifying the social media giant, which Mark sees as a crucial step for the future of the internet.
The Facebook app is used by almost 3 billion people around the globe every month, however, answering the questions about there being a name change the social media giant will still be called “Facebook”. Speaking at the virtual reality conference, according to Zuckerberg, it’s time for an overhaul of Facebook’s identity to achieve the organization’s broader ambitions.
Mark Zuckerberg says that the idea of the metaverse is the next big step in the computing industry in which people’s attention and money will shift in the coming years. The CEO of Facebook wants the newly formed Meta to play a crucial role in creating the metaverse and turning the idea into big business just like he did when he started Facebook in his Harvard University dorm room.
What Is Metaverse
Do we know the name “Metaverse” gets you a feeling that maybe the Avengers might be real, but switching to reality let’s look at what Mark is looking to do with the new SciFi name “Meta”? The term “metaverse” was created by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in the novel, Snow Crash in 1992. SciFi Enthusiasts usually refer to it as virtual spaces where people are allowed to play games, meet with colleagues, attend concerts and buy all kinds of digital goods and services.
Facebook told investors it’s spending on virtual reality and other next-generation products and services this week. The spending spree will take a major $10 billion bite out of the organization’s operating profit this year. They also announced that they plan to hire 10,000 workers in Europe to build the metaverse.
On Thursday, speaking at the Connect virtual reality conference, Zuckerberg expects to invest “billions of dollars in the years to come,” looking at a vision in the future where billions of users will use the metaverse and it will hopefully generate billions of dollars in digital commerce. However, Mark remained focused and acknowledged that the idea remains “a long way off” and said that “We are fully committed to this”.
The Change Boosts Facebook’s Existence
For Zuckerberg, the timing of the rebrand couldn’t be more suspect. Over the past few weeks, and also throughout the year Facebook has been in the middle of a nonstop bombardment of criticism, which is hugely due to leaked internal documents that were provided to the media by a former employee, Frances Haugen. It is not a shock anymore that Facebook is now the most scrutinized company in the world, and the brand is constantly getting suspicious eyes from young people. To the many critics, distancing the company brand and Zuckerberg from the name Facebook will be seen as an evasion tactic.
On the other hand, Instagram, which Facebook looks at as a pipeline for younger users who in the future will eventually age into its other apps, is losing young teenagers to other popular social media platforms like TikTok, an issue the company identifies as an “existential threat,”
On Monday, speaking to investors Zuckerberg said that he’s planning to reorient the company so that it becomes more appealing to young adults aged 18 to 29, rather than the older crowd that has recently become Facebook’s core. He added that the quick emergence of the short-video app TikTok has made them “one of the most effective competitors that we have ever faced.”
“Facebook” or “Meta”
Talks of having a name change were not agreed upon by many marketing experts, like Prashant Malaviya, who is a marketing professor at Georgetown University. He said “Facebook is going through so much turmoil nowadays” that changing the name looks like “you are trying to hide something”
Malaviya gave an example of when Malboro decided to change its name to Altria in 2001. This led to a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner accusing the company of “running away from tobacco”.
Similarly, whether you change the name or not, Facebook has developed such an identity that Facebook will always be known as the “big blue app”. “The Facebook brand will always continue to exist. The app will be there and Instagram will still be there”
It’s unclear if the rebrand of Facebook to Meta will achieve what Mark is aiming for, but there’s no question about it that it’s a bold move, just like the creation of Facebook all those years ago. In this new and fast world, Facebook is constantly facing competition from new social media competitors and adding to the frustration, government regulators. The metaverse is an idea that offers Mark Zuckerberg a new direction to move toward. All he needs to do now is get to work.
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