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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Facebook Has Changed Its Name to “Meta”

With some of the world’s most distinctive trademarks, such as a large blue-and-white letter F, Facebook has risen to popularity over the last two decades.

This is no longer the case. In an evident start toward an overhaul, the social networking giant de-emphasised the moniker Facebook and rebranded itself as Meta on Thursday. The modification was followed by the introduction of a new company logo, which was fashioned in the form of an infinity symbol that was slightly crooked. Facebook and its other programmes, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, will continue to exist, but will be grouped together under the Meta banner.

With this move, Mark Zuckerberg, the business’s CEO, has signalled his intention to concentrate his Silicon Valley corporation on what he believes to be the next digital frontier: the integration of various digital realms into something known as the metaverse. Furthermore, by changing the name of the firm, it will be easier for people to distinguish it from social networking difficulties it is now experiencing, such as how it is used to propagate hate speech and disinformation.

When asked about the next chapter, Mr. Zuckerberg replied, “I’ve been thinking a lot about our identity.” Mr. Zuckerberg was speaking at a virtual event on Thursday to illustrate Facebook’s digital bets on the future. “I hope that over time, we’ll be recognised as a metaverse corporation.”

With the adjustment, Mr. Zuckerberg sent a signal to the world that his firm was moving beyond today’s social networking, which has been the foundation of Facebook since its founding seventeen years ago. He said that using the word Facebook as the firm’s corporate name was no longer viable given that the company now owned several applications and was primarily about connecting people.

That was particularly true, according to Mr. Zuckerberg, since Facebook has committed to creating a composite universe that combines the online, virtual, and augmented worlds, allowing individuals to move easily between them. He has said that this notion, known as the metaverse, has the potential to become the next big social platform, and that multiple technology firms would work together to develop it over the next ten to fifteen years. Facebook said on Monday that it has divided its virtual reality and augmented reality businesses into a company known as Facebook Reality Labs, signalling its intention to be a major player in the space.

However, since the notion is theoretical and may take years to implement, Facebook’s transformation into a metaverse firm will require time and effort. A big corporation, Facebook and its sibling applications continue to generate more than $86 billion in yearly revenue while reaching more than 3.5 billion people across the world.

Changing the company’s name at the right time provides two advantages. In recent weeks, Facebook has been subjected to some of the most severe scrutiny the company has ever experienced. Lawmakers and members of the public have attacked the firm’s Instagram photo-sharing app for allegedly damaging the self-esteem of young teens, and the corporation has come under fire for its role in propagating disinformation and inciting unrest via inflammatory material.

Following the findings, a spate of legislative hearings, as well as legal and regulatory investigations, have taken place. Ms. Haugen addressed a group of British legislators in Parliament on Monday, urging them to regulate social media site Facebook. On Tuesday, Facebook advised its staff to “preserve internal records and conversations from 2016” that belong to the company’s enterprises, citing the fact that governments and legislative bodies have begun investigations into the social media company’s operations.

Rebranding is an uncommon occurrence, yet it has occurred before. The majority of the time, they have been utilised to announce a firm’s structural reform or to disassociate a corporation from a negative public image.

During the 2015 restructuring process, Google reorganised under a new parent company, Alphabet, separating itself into distinct firms in order to better distinguish its internet search business from the moonshot investments it was making in other areas. In 2011, Netflix announced intentions to split its video business into two halves, temporarily rebranding its DVD-by-mail subsidiary Qwikster to reflect the new divisional structure.

Following The Verge’s storey last week that Facebook may be changing its name, social media was ablaze with less-than-pleasant comparisons. In 2001, following years of reputational harm caused by the health costs and consequences of cigarettes on the American population, the tobacco giant Philip Morris renamed itself as Altria Group, according to some observers.

The name change at Facebook is mostly a cosmetic one. It will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on December 1 under the ticker symbol MVRS. In addition, the business will rename certain of its virtual-reality devices under the term Meta, rather than under the original brand name of Oculus VR.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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