Facebook Rebrands To Meta Amidst Troubles

Photo/ Wired

Facebook has rebranded to Meta.

The company announced on Thursday, October 28, that it was changing its name to Meta.

However, it dismissed speculation that it was reorganizing its products into a holding company similar to Google’s restructuring in 2015 to Alphabet.

“From now on, we’ll be metaverse first, not Facebook first. Over time you won’t need to use Facebook to use our other services,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.

Become a metaverse company

“However, our corporate structure is not changing.” 

But its financial report will be broken into two operating segments: its Reality Labs and its Family of Apps. It will start trading in the stock exchange under the ticker MVRS from December 1.

In July, Zuckerberg announced the company’s desire to become a metaverse company. It will be hiring 10,000 people across Europe to specifically oversee its metaverse project.

A metaverse is a virtual space that enables people to interact digitally regardless of their physical location. They can talk to each other, hang out, play games, watch movies, and even browse the web. It’s a combination of the prefix meta (meaning beyond) and verse (from universe). The metaverse is made up of persistent, shared, 3D virtual spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe and is considered the future of the internet.

Facebook troubles

Despite denying reports of a holding company, speculation that a major corporate restructure at Facebook is underway refuses to go away. 

It is expected that Zuckerberg will become the CEO of the holding company while someone else takes over as the CEO at Facebook. This will help to deflate some of the pressure that Facebook and its co-founder have been facing in the recent past.

A few weeks ago, a whistleblower leaked documents showing that Facebook had intentionally prioritized profits over dealing with hate speech and propaganda. It then lost an estimated $65 million in revenues in the first week of October due to a six hour downtime across its platforms (including Instagram and Whatsapp). Additionally, Facebook stock dropped by 4.8 percent.

The rebranding, and emphasis on the metaverse project, is seen as a distraction by the company from its troubles.

“The name change is exciting and creates momentum, but the can definitely see through things like that at this stage,” Anne Olderog, a senior partner at Vivaldi consulting firm, said.

She believes the name change, however brilliant. will not be enough to save the company from the criticism it’s facing at the moment.

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