Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg announced at an AR/VR-focused connect event that the company behind Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus will now be named as “Meta”. The word Meta is a Greek origin meaning “higher beyond”.
Mark further added to his statement explaining that the name simply reflects who we are and what aim to deliver for the world. The company still aims to bring people together and make technology a part of their daily lives to connect with each other without any trouble.
He also said that the name change has come on an apt time when the company has recently faced various issues, especially, the leaked video of a former employee and some other security breaches. The company has always strived to offer a responsible social media platform for people and is now redirecting its policies to get rid of relentless negative headlines.
Facebook has invested a lot of time and effort on virtual reality hardware and its social VR-products have largely been short-lived failures. In August, Facebook has created a great buzz around VR-app that was designed to allow people take meetings in VR. In the month of September, a blog post named “Building the Metaverse Responsibly”, Facebook announced 50 million fund that was dedicated to investment in research regarding responsible development of its products. Recently, the company also announced $ 10 million for its developers’ community and claimed that the company is aiming to hire more than 10000 employees in EU to build out their Metaverse platform.
Distancing company’s core business from product associated with some surprising issues, changing its name to Meta will require to align its core brand with a product that can overcome various possible hurdles and rejuvenate company’s core competencies. Facebook has more than 2.5 billion users at current whereas its Metaverse products has few thousand users only.
However, it’s not the first time that a tech giant has opted for a name change, in 2015, Google also rolled out a new corporate structure of its own. Google is a subsidiary of its parent company called Alphabet but people often relate themselves with Google for anything better or worse. Facebook has also invested two decades to build its brand and have grown its users to almost 3 billion and is expecting the same treatment now.
Google never tried to put a distance between itself and its name but Facebook has recently faced many issues including Russian election disinformation in 2016 and Cambridge Analytica scandal privacy lapse and the recent Frances Haugen matter have all combined to make Facebook think of a more concrete and innovative solution to get out of this mess and evolve its image as fresh as ever. The company is under thorough regulatory scrutiny than any other company I the tech industry. The lawmakers in Congress seldom agree on anything, and republicans and democrats have united now to express their distaste for the company, its growth, and concerns over Instagram’s detrimental effects on teen mental health.
In a Senate hearing, most of the social media giants like Tik-Tok, Snap, and YouTube have scrambled to explicitly contrast their business practices with Facebook. YouTube postulated that it never prioritizes profits over safety while Tik-Tok said that it carefully considers wellbeing of teens and never promotes any hate speech or vulgar content through its platform. The senator, however, told them that being different from Facebook can not be a legal stand for defense and each social media platform has to evaluate its policies and content promotion based on the ethical grounds.