Social media managers react to Meta: ‘It’s like when Kim and Kanye named North West’
The Drum reporter, and former social media executive, Amy Houston compiles the most hilarious internet reactions to Facebook’s Meta rebrand, as well as quizzing social bosses about the announcement, how they would use social to get some positivity behind Meta, and if it will do anything to regain users’ trust.
Last week Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be splitting into two branches: one arm focused on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and the company’s other existing apps, and another focused on the development of the metaverse. All will live under the new Meta umbrella brand.
Was the rebrand a surprise? Not really. Will it serve as a quick fix for the PR nightmare the company currently finds itself in? Doubtful. Did the internet have some hilarious reactions to the new name? Yes, of course.
Meta or Feta? The internet had some hilarious reactions to the Facebook rebrand
Social media moves quickly, and so does meme culture. Brands, people, even rival platforms were quick off the mark to offer some comedic relief for this, frankly, weird time.
Twitter jumped straight in highlighting its own Machine Learning, Ethics, Transparency and Accountability (META) team which, according to them, is made up of some of tech’s most notorious critics.
But in true Twitter style, it also offered a sarcastic message too.
BIG NEWS lol jk still Twitter— Twitter (@Twitter) October 28, 2021
Of course, the supermarkets poked a little fun at Zuck, including this tweet from Aldi.
Hilarious internet reactions aside, I was curious to find out what people who work in social media make of all this.
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“While most people gave this one big eye roll last week, I thought, good on you Zuck,” said Alex Dalman, business director at VCCP Innovation.
“It does indeed set out their virtual stall very neatly and clears up their annoying collective noun/family of apps naming issue.”
Having all the apps under one umbrella does make sense, but the name just feels so unimaginative, especially when thinking about the possibilities of the metaverse. The whole thing gives me secondhand embarrassment, to be honest.
“When is Zuck ever not cringe?” Dalman noted. “A bit like when Kim and Kanye named [their] child North (surname West). I guess we should all just be happy he didn’t call it something even cringier like Cyber.”
The team behind the Facebook's name change to Meta pic.twitter.com/AWY2lrczsg— Lights, Camera, Pod (@LightsCameraPod) October 28, 2021
Maybe Zuck should have got in touch with adland favorite Ryan Reynolds?
If Facebook can rebrand as Meta without asking me, then I get to rebrand myself as Birthday Reminders, no questions asked. Happy Birthday @AndyRichter.— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) October 29, 2021
My belief is that Zuck needed to be doing the work internally and fixing the many problems directly at the source. That should have been the rebrand.
When I spoke to Dalman about this, she added that Meta should “not take themselves too seriously to start with and wow everyone with the execution. They have the opportunity to start again and rid some of their cobwebs.”
How do social media managers feel about it?
“I’m still unsure about it,” says Lacey Waughman, social media manager at Escape Live.
“I saw a data protection business do a post poking fun at Meta ‘copying’ their logo. They used the opportunity to point out that perhaps Facebook will also be copying their data protection procedures too,” she added.
“This managed to be comedic without losing the energy that we had about Facebook before the rebrand, which has ultimately become a publicity stunt to avert attention away from data protection,” concluded Waughman.
— Ankita Singh (@ankita_siingh) October 29, 2021
Getting some positivity behind Meta is going to be crucial, and social media managers are going to play a key role in the communication tactics. Matthew Gordon, senior social media manager at Born Social, has a “slightly mixed, but leaning toward positive” feeling about Meta and gave me the scoop on how he would approach the rollout: “Now that Facebook has played its opening hand, I think it’s probably time for them to step back, and allow other voices to emphasize the sheer potential of Meta.”
“By amplifying key, respected creators and curators in spaces such as gaming, NFTs and crypto, I imagine that people would be more open and willing to hear out what Meta actually has to offer, rather than immediately assess everything with a level of severe scepticism.”
Gaining back users’ trust will be a long road for Facebook, and one that many people are skeptical about in light of reports that it massively harms people’s mental health.
“In terms of the centralization of data, given that web3 and the metaverse directly oppose Facebook and web2’s operations, all eyes are on Facebook as to how this will all play out,” noted Gordon.
“While they certainly talked the talk throughout their keynote, given Facebook’s recent track record, I’m not sure that will be enough to convince skeptics. The walk will need to be walked, which I think is easier said than done, and will prove to be quite a tricky process for them to navigate.”