On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s corporate name will now be “Meta”, in an attempt to rebrand the company following the recent storm of negative stories about Facebook based on information leaked by an ex-employee. But, avoiding the scandal Facebook was part of after Haugen’s leaks, Zuckerberg focused only on explaining what Meta represents and what it could mean for the company’s future.
The change in name will not affect the apps associated with the company i.e. Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, just the parent name of the corporation. Zuckerberg states that this is being done to provide a bigger focus on the “metaverse” of the company, which involves Virtual Reality (VR), where people can communicate, play games, and interact in a VR environment with the help of VR headsets. He said the current brand name can’t represent everything the company is doing presently, let alone the things they plan for the future.
He explained that the “metaverse” is going to become the next big computing platform, shifting people’s attention and investments towards itself in the future. The “metaverse” (not to be confused by DC’s The Flash – duh) is a name that was coined by Neal Stephenson (1992) in his novel Snow Crash, and today it’s used to refer to virtual spaces where people can meet with colleagues, buy digital goods, play games, attend concerts, etc. And Facebook demonstrated many of those experiences in their announcement on Thursday, 28th of October 2021.
Here’s our first sneak peek at Facebook’s so called metaverse, a virtual place where you can hang out with friends and so much more. pic.twitter.com/Ld5AY0WIz3
— Nathie (@NathieVR) October 28, 2021
The entire idea behind the name “meta” resides in the goal that the company won’t need to use Facebook exclusively for its future operations, meaning the app will no longer be the face of the company. Many people believe this metaverse could be the future of the internet, as Mark Zuckerberg showed himself riding an electric hydrofoil fenced with a hologram, and walking through a 3D rendition of his home space.
Mark Zuckerberg also announced that the company will be spending around $10 billion of its profits this year on building the metaverse; it also plans to hire around 10,000 workers from Europe in the next 5 years for the same purpose.
Addressing a minor part of the presentation on all the years of scandals Facebook was a part of, Zuckerberg explained that the company will work exclusively to prioritize safety and privacy measures as it builds the new VR metaverse.
This isn’t the first time a social media giant has tried changing its company name; Google also attempted to change its parent company’s name to “Alphabet” back in 2015, but the name is yet to catch on. So whether Facebook’s rebranding is a good idea or not, we’d have to wait and see that for ourselves. The company reports that it will start trading its shares under the name MVRS from the 1st of December 2021.
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