At the company’s annual AR- and VR-focused event, Mark Zuckerberg today announced Facebook’s much-anticipated rebrand. The company plans to invest much more deeply in the metaverse, and in line with these efforts will be rebranding under the new name Meta.
At Facebook Connect, the social media giant’s annual AR and VR event, Mark Zuckerberg today ushered in a new era for the tech giant.
“Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can't possibly represent everything that we're doing today, let alone in the future,” he said. “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.”
Zuckerberg announced that the company will split into two branches: one focused on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and its other existing apps, and one focused on the development of future platforms. All of the properties will fall under the new brand name Meta. In essence, Facebook will become a subsidiary under the larger umbrella of Meta.
The CEO went on to explain that Meta alone won’t be responsible for creating the metaverse, but that it plans to partner with countless creators and developers to make its vision of a unified digital and physical world a reality. He said that the creation of the metaverse will likely take many years and indicated that the company will happily work in cooperation with regulators — but hinted that technology cannot wait for sluggish policymaking to catch up.
The move comes amid a slew of PR storms facing the company. Following a scathing Wall Street Journal report that indicated the company is well aware of its ill effects on teens’ mental health, Facebook experienced a six-hour outage that amounted to some $79m in lost ad dollars. Perhaps worst of all, whistleblower Frances Haugen is alleging that the tech giant’s business model is designed to prioritize profits over safety and that its algorithms incentivize the spread of misinformation.
The rebrand aims to help reshape the company’s public image both as a more ethically responsible platform and a leader in the development of the metaverse.