After a whistleblower disclosed hundreds of internal papers, Facebook is changing its name to Meta as it faces widespread examination of the real-world problems caused by its numerous platforms.
The shift would relegate Facebook’s flagship service to the status of a subsidiary, like Instagram and WhatsApp, rather than the company’s overall brand.
A rebranding might be part of an effort to rebuild Facebook’s reputation and turn the page after a string of public relations disasters, including disinformation on its platforms, content moderation failures, and disclosures about the devastating impact its products have on some users’ mental health.
The name change, revealed by Mark Zuckerberg during Facebook Connect, corresponds with the company’s expanding focus on the metaverse, which refers to efforts to blend virtual and augmented reality technology in a new online universe.
On Thursday, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg started off a large product event by announcing a variety of new social, gaming, and workplace concepts for the metaverse — and by noting the optics of focusing on such items amid heightened criticism of the firm.
“I understand that some may argue that now is not the time to think for the future, and I want to admit that there are significant concerns to address in the present.” There will always be,” Zuckerberg stated in a pre-keynote video.
“So, for many individuals, I’m not convinced there will ever be a decent moment to think about the future.” But I also know that there are many of you who share my sentiments.”
“What we’re developing is what we live for,” Zuckerberg continued. “And even when we make mistakes, we keep learning, creating, and progressing.”
Facebook livestreamed its eighth annual Connect event to reveal its newest augmented and virtual reality inventions and research, as well as more on its vision for the metaverse, which refers to initiatives that merge virtual and augmented reality technology in a new online platform.
Facebook displayed a series of concept animations highlighting its vision for the metaverse, such as sending a holographic representation of oneself to a concert with a buddy who is actually going, sitting around virtual meeting tables with faraway coworkers, or playing immersive games with pals.
Zuckerberg also revealed plans for a virtual marketplace where developers can sell virtual products, as well as a redesigned home page in Oculus Quest to make talking and gaming in the virtual world more sociable.
“Your devices will no longer be the center of your attention,” he stated. “In the next five to ten years, we’ll start to see a lot of these technologies coming together.” A lot of this will become commonplace, and many of us will be building and inhabiting worlds as vivid and compelling as this one on a regular basis.”