Founder Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that Facebook will change its corporate name to Meta, demoting Facebook’s namesake service to one of the company’s subsidiaries, alongside Instagram and WhatsApp, rather than the global brand.
A rebranding could be part of an effort to reshuffle Facebook’s reputation and turn the page following a series of PR nightmares, including misinformation on its platforms, content moderation failures and revelations about the negative effect of its products on the mental health of some users.
“I’ve given a lot of thought to who we are as we begin this next chapter. Facebook is one of the most widely used products in the history of the world,” Zuckerberg said Thursday. “It’s an iconic social media brand, but increasingly, it no longer encompasses everything we do.
“Today we’re seen as a social media company,” he added, “but in our DNA, we’re a company that builds technologies to connect people. And the metaverse is the next frontier, just like social media was when we started. “
Zuckerberg, who said he enjoyed studying the classics in school, said the name was inspired by the Greek word meta, which means “beyond.” “To me, it symbolizes that there is always more to build.”
It kicked off the big product event by teasing a series of new social, gaming, and workplace concepts for the metaverse – and acknowledging the optics of focusing on such products amid close scrutiny of the company.
“I know some people will say this is not the time to focus on the future, and I want to recognize that there are important issues to work on in the present. There always will be.” Zuckerberg said. “So for a lot of people, I’m just not sure there will ever be a good time to focus on the future. But I also know that a lot of you feel the same way as I do.”
“We live for what we build,” Zuckerberg added. “And while we make mistakes, we keep learning, building and moving forward.”
Facebook showed off a series of concept videos that highlighted their take on the metaverse, such as sending a holographic image of yourself to a concert with a friend attending in real life, sitting around virtual meeting tables with coworkers. remote or play immersive games with friends.
Zuckerberg also announced that Messenger Call is coming to VR, plans to tap a virtual marketplace where developers can sell virtual goods and a new home screen in Oculus Quest to make chat and games in the virtual world more social.
“Your devices will no longer be the focal point of your attention,” he said. “We’re starting to see a lot of these technologies come together over the next five or ten years. this one, every day. “