Facebook is changing its name to Meta because it is refocusing on virtual reality

Facebook is now called Meta, the company said Thursday (October 28th) as part of a rebranding that focuses on building a “metaverse”, a shared virtual environment that it believes will succeed the mobile Internet.

The name change came as the world’s largest social media company struggled with criticism from lawmakers and regulators about its market power, algorithmic solutions and control over the misuse of its services.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the company’s conference on live virtual and augmented reality, said the new name reflects its work, which invests money in the metaworld, rather than the eponymous social networking service, which will continue to be called Facebook.

The metaverse is a term coined in the anti-utopian novel The Snow Catastrophe three decades ago, and now it is making a fuss in Silicon Valley. In a broad sense, this applies to the idea of ​​a shared virtual realm that can be accessed by people who use different devices.

“Now our brand is so closely linked to one product that it can’t represent everything we do today, let alone the future,” Zuckerberg said.

The company, which has invested heavily in augmented and virtual reality, said the change will combine its various programs and technologies under one new brand. He said he would not change his corporate structure.

The technology giant, which reports 2.9 billion users a month, has been facing increasing attention from global lawmakers and regulators in recent years.

In the latest dispute, informant and former Facebook employee Francis Haugen, documents that, according to her, show that the company chose profit, not user safety. In recent weeks, Haugen has testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee and lawmakers in the British Parliament. Earlier this week, Zuckerberg said the documents were used to paint a “false picture”.

In a blog post, the company announced that it intends to start trading on the new stock ticker it has reserved, MVRS, on December 1. On Thursday, she unveiled a new sign at her headquarters in Menlo Park, California, replacing her “thumb up.” “Like” logo with a blue infinity shape.

Shares of Facebook rose 1.5% to $ 316.92 on Thursday.

STAINED REPUTATION

This week, Facebook announced that its hardware division, Facebook Reality Labs, which is responsible for AR and VR, will be a separate reporting unit and that its investment in it will reduce its total operating profit by about $ 10 billion this year.

This year, the company created a metagroup-focused product group in the division and recently announced plans to hire 10,000 employees in Europe over the next five years to work on the task.

In an interview with the technical publication The Information, Zuckerberg said that he did not consider resigning from the post of CEO and did not think “very seriously” about the allocation of this unit.

From now on, the unit will be called Reality Labs, its head Andrew Boz Bosworth said on Thursday. The company will also stop using the Oculus brand for its virtual reality headsets, instead calling them “Meta” products.

The name change, which was first announced by Verge, is a significant rebranding for Facebook, but not the first. In 2019, the company launched a new logo to distinguish the company and its social application.

In recent years, the company’s reputation has suffered many blows, including through the processing of user data and the control of violations such as health misinformation, violent rhetoric and hate speech. The US Federal Trade Commission has also filed an antitrust lawsuit against anti-competitive practices.

“While this will help reduce confusion by distinguishing the parent company Facebook from the founding program, the name change does not suddenly remove the systemic problems that plague the company,” said Mike Prue, director of research at marketing research firm Forrester.

Plans to phase out Facebook’s name, even from products such as the Portal video calling device, show that the company seeks to prevent unprecedented controls from harming other applications, said Prashant Malawi, a marketing professor at McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.

“Without a doubt, (Facebook name) is definitely damaged and toxic,” he said.

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