It’s a new chapter for Facebook.
The name change for the overall company went into effect Thursday
The social media and technology company has been rebranded as “Meta” in an effort “to encompass everything we do,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday.
The announcement came at the end of Zuckerberg’s keynote address at his virtual Connect event, during which the billionaire laid out plans to create an immersive, augmented reality platform referred to as the metaverse, according to NY Daily News.
“We’re seen as a social media company, but in our DNA, we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier, just like social networking was when we got started,” Zuckerberg said.
“Facebook was born at a specific time and place: a college campus, the web. It was what we could build at the time to put people back into our experience of technology. But connecting people was always much bigger.”
The timing of Thursday’s rebranding coincides suspiciously with the recent release of the Facebook Papers, a leaked document trove that revealed deep-seated problems that the company ignored. The hundreds of incriminating papers were leaked by Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee turned whistlepower, and have been a PR nightmare for Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg’s company owns social media platforms including the Facebook website, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus.
The conglomerate will continue to work on those apps, while also focusing on future projects that don’t fit under the same umbrella, Zuckerberg said.
“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, and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we are building towards.”
The Facebook app itself will continue to go by Facebook.
The name change for the overall company went into effect Thursday, said Zuckerberg, who co-founded the company in 2004 as a Harvard student.
“Our mission remains the same,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s still about bringing people together. Our apps and their brands, they’re not changing either. And we’re still the company that designs technology around people.”
Earlier in the presentation, Zuckerberg detailed his vision for the metaverse, an all-encompassing digital realm aimed to makes users feel like they’re in the same space as the people they’re interacting with.
Users would design avatars to represent themselves in the multiverse and spend time in different virtual settings and apps with friends and coworkers, Zuckerberg said.
“We believe the Metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet,” he explained. “We’ll be able to feel present, like we’re right there with people, no matter how far apart we actually are. We’ll be able to express ourselves in new, joyful, completely immersive ways, and that’s going to unlock a lot of amazing new experiences.”
The 37-year-old Zuckerberg acknowledged many of his company’s ideas remain years away from being ready.
His company is building a social platform called Horizon in an effort to enhance different elements of a person’s life, he said.
“When I send my parents a video of my kids, they’re going to feel like they’re right in the moment with us, not peering through a little window,” Zuckerberg said.
“When you play a game with your friends, you’ll feel like you’re right there, together in a different world, not just on a computer by yourself. And when you’re in a meeting in the metaverse, it’ll feel like you’re right in the room together.”
(NY Daily News)