Rumors have been circulating for over a week about the possibility of Facebook changing their name in a move to rebrand themselves. CNBC reported that Facebook announced that they are indeed changing their name to Meta, so as to better reflect their future aspirations. They confirmed the name change at the Facebook Connect augmented and virtual reality conference on Thursday.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained at the conference that Meta is a term that better reflects what he wants the company to stand for in the future. He shared that he doesn’t want his company to be associated with only one type of product, but rather for its ability to connect people. “Together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy…over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company,” said Zuckerberg.
News of the rebrand comes after Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s big plans to build a metaverse. The metaverse would serve as a digital social space where people would connect as avatars in real-time by using virtual reality. Essentially, users would have the opportunity to enter into a sort of voluntary matrix. Facebook becoming Meta certainly serves to highlight where Zuckerberg’s priorities lie as well as just how important he views this metaverse project to be for the company.
The Verge pointed out on October 19th, when they first reported on Facebook’s potential name change, that Facebook, the social media app would likely remain just as that and fall under the larger umbrella of the newly rebranded company. Zuckerberg confirmed at the conference that, that will indeed be the case. Facebook as well as the company’s other social media platforms will still be available as social media outlets for users to continue to enjoy.
As a result of the rebrand to Meta, how the company reports on earnings will change beginning in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year. In a blog post, Zuckerberg explained that while the overall hierarchy of the company would remain the same (he will still have the final word on all decisions), but the way they will report their financial earnings will now be split into two parts. First would include their family of apps (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.) The second part would report on the earnings of what he referred to as the Reality Labs division. The second portion is likely to include the metaverse project, but any other projects to fall into that second category are unknown at this point.
Zuckerberg’s move to separate Facebook and the company’s other social media apps from the newer portion of the company could have been a strategic one. Facebook has been facing an onslaught of public and legal scrutinies in recent weeks and its legal troubles could wind up costing the social media giant hefty sums of money. Thus by keeping the financials separate, it could serve to protect the interests of the newer side of the company.
Additionally, all of the negative exposure surrounding Facebook has caused the company’s image to be figuratively dragged through the mud, thus the rebranding could help to draw pubic attention away from the fallout of Facebook’s fallacies and towards what Meta’s plans for the future are, which could ultimately serve to repair some of the public’s negative perceptions.