During Facebook’s Connect 2021 conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would be renamed from “Facebook” to “Meta,” and according to a statement from the firm, “Meta’s focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.”
More specifically, the company’s new name is “Meta Platforms Inc,” further pushing its identity away from the social media powerhouse that led to its initial success, but is now stuck in a quagmire of controversy and toxicity.
“From now on, we’re going to be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during the conference. This metaverse that Zuckerberg is referring to is the company’s next big expected cash cow – a new computing platform which Zuckerberg describes:
“[The metaverse] will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company.”
Now, Meta will be the parent company to social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp as well as VR branch Oculus and all the other projects Zuckerberg has up his sleeves. The company says the new name won’t be affecting how the company uses or shares its data and the corporate structure will remain virtually identical – it is just a rebranding.
Zuckerberg says that the rebranding is part of an effort to distance the company from its social media roots and to encapsulate all of its new projects going forward, including the “metaverse.”
“Right now, our brand is so tightly linked with one product that can’t possibly represent everything we’re doing today,” Zuckerberg said, “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 identity on what we’re building toward,” he added.
Alongside its vision for the metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg also shared more about the progress the company is making today with some of the foundational elements across its AR & VR technologies:
- “VR is at an inflection point led by the release of Quest 2. Games are booming, VR is getting more social, fitness is becoming a hot vertical, and we’re building out more ways VR can be used as a work device. And, we continue to invest in the developer community to help them build and monetize their applications through new tools and features.”
- “As VR hits an inflection point, we’re investing in the core technology and work needed to bring fully-featured AR glasses to market. While we work on the hardware to make AR glasses, we’re cultivating the content, capabilities, and communities that can enrich Facebook experiences today and illuminate the path to AR glasses ahead.”
Where did “Meta” come from?
“We will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company,” Zuckerberg told The Verge in July of this year, already laying the seeds for the future name change.
While “Horizon” was one name the media was rumouring for the company, it seems Zuckerberg was dead set on the “Meta” idea in order to lead his branding towards his augmented reality aspirations.
The company says that the name was chosen because it can mean “beyond,” however in English the word denotes something that is self-referential. Though in truth the word “meta” is loosely defined and can be used for many things.
In Hebrew, the word means ‘dead,’ which was much to the delight of Jewish social media users who first heard the news of the name change.
With the name change, the company also introduced a new logo – a slanted blue infinity symbol alongside black type that reads “Meta” in a font that is probably Helvetica or something similar.
Now, looking to the future, Meta will start with its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2021, it also plans to report on two operating segments: Family of Apps and Reality Labs.
It also intends to start trading under the new stock ticker – MVRS, on December 1.