‘Facebook has changed its name to Meta.’
The entire world woke up to this headline on 29th October. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta to the world. Zuckerberg announced ‘Metaverse’ as the future of his company in a keynote presentation. All the apps and technologies like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp will now be under this company’s name. Also, the company’s focus will now be on the Metaverse and not entirely on the social media app Facebook, which gave the company its previous name.
Since this announcement, people across the world have had multiple questions regarding this move of Facebook, which is the most used social networking app in the world, with 2853 million users as of 2021. We curated this blog to answer a few of these questions. Let’s move on to them.
Zuckerberg said that the company’s present name could not possibly represent everything that the company is currently working on and also its future plans. Therefore, the change of name. This is, in fact, true. The name ‘Facebook’ has very little to do with the different platforms of the company, like Instagram, WhatsApp, and the VR platform Oculus. And looking at the future vision of the company that Mark unveiled in the 90-minute long virtual presentation, this holds even more true. Zuckerberg announced the plans to build a ‘Metaverse’ which will be the future of the social internet.
The company plans to build a ‘Metaverse’, which will be an online world where people can connect through Virtual Reality headsets. The company states that you will be able to connect with people and let you do things all in the virtual world. Zuckerberg showed how one can attend a work meeting in the form of a hologram or play with your friend’s avatars in the virtual world.
The company is working on different products to make virtual and augmented reality accessible to everyone. It’s building workrooms where people across the world can connect to share their ideas and work seamlessly. Not only working, but the company is also working to create virtual spaces for gaming, socializing, exercising, education and commerce. You will be able to engage in any kind of activity, leisure, or work from your own sofa set by just wearing a headset.
Coming to augmented reality, the company is building a product called Spark AR. This product will provide AR creators with all the necessary tools and resources. Additionally, they will also be able to share their work on Instagram.
Smart glasses are also in the plan of Metaverse. These smart glasses will be the gateway to the ‘Metaverse’. In collaboration with RayBan, the company is building glasses that will let you take phone calls, take photos and videos, listen to music, and share your perspective with the world. All of these, just with a touch.
Recently, Facebook has garnered a lot of negative attention. The Washington Post reported that Facebook withheld information about vaccine misinformation from policymakers. In another instance, an ex-employee of Facebook, Ms. Haugen released documents that made the world question Facebook’s integrity. The documents revealed that Facebook deliberately chose to keep research about Instagram under the wraps. The research revealed how it harmed the mental health of teenagers. Apart from these, the leaked documents also showed how the company has failed to remove hate speech from the platform outside the US. Critics around the world have also started to question the algorithm of the company. Although, Zuckerberg has called the reports a “coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company”.
All of these have seriously damaged the company’s reputation. Therefore, the change of name move is being seen as a way to cut itself off from the Facebook app. Critics are of the opinion that this is just a way to separate the company from Facebook the app’s criticism. It is also being said, after extensively working on popular social media apps, the company CEO’s focus has now shifted. And the reason behind this shift is Facebook’s draining popularity and slow growth.
But the question that arises here is that will this move yield any result for this company? Taking a look at history tells us that name-changing moves haven’t been always successful. In 2015, Google rebranded itself as “Alphabet”, and you can’t practically see anyone using this name.
Also, at the same time, it is important to note that nothing significant has changed for the users of the apps under the company. Neither has anything changed about how the new company ‘Meta’, previously known as Facebook, works. So will Facebook or ‘Meta’, be able to move on from all the controversy and build the futuristic social world that it has promised? We will have to wait to know this answer.