Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a change in his company’s name on Thursday, saying he wanted “a new brand and a clearer corporate naming scheme to help focus on what’s next for the internet beyond social media”. While the Facebook app itself won’t undergo any major revisions, Zuckerberg’s newly rebranded Meta will implement plenty of changes across their other social media channels, which also include Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
The name is a play on the word “metaverse,” the term for a potential future internet that emphasizes virtual spaces. Zuckerberg said the metaverse will be the internet’s “next frontier.”
In 2019, Facebook shifted its branding strategy to emphasize the name Facebook, adding labels to the Instagram and WhatsApp apps to make the relationship clearer to users. It did so at the same time that lawmakers and other critics of Facebook were calling on the government to break up the company — which the Federal Trade Commission is now asking a federal court to do.
— T👻r👻 D🐈⬛bl💀n 🎃🧙🏻♀️ (@taradublinrocks) October 28, 2021
Zuckerberg’s surprise announcement comes as Facebook faces intense public scrutiny amid bombshell news stories based on thousands of internal corporate documents obtained by news organizations, including NBC News. The documents, originating with former Facebook product manager and whistleblower Frances Haugen, revealed internal employee dissent over the platform’s policies.
Facebook. Meta. pic.twitter.com/oeUjiFe8PW
— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) October 28, 2021
Facebook had already moved into the virtual reality sector with its purchase of the company Oculus VR in 2014 for $2 billion. Its Oculus headsets now form the basis for Zuckerberg’s metaverse plans, and he said he plans to continue selling the headsets at cost or at a loss to try to build up the number of users.
Meta and MAGA are just letters away from each other
— Kelly D (@KellDA) October 28, 2021