Mark Zuckerberg said he had been thinking about a rebrand since he bought Instagram in 2012.
But after six months of super-secret work, the Facebook founder this week delivered Meta via the company’s annual Connect conference. Meta is the new face of Facebook, the social media app’s namesake parent company. According to The Verge, Zuckerberg has put at least $10 billion dollars into Meta this year alone.
There’s no denying Facebook has been in a cycle of less-than-positive news recently. Recent leaks have done nothing to help its reputation, and some say the timing of a rebrand that sees the company name move from Facebook to Meta is suspicious.
Zuckerberg said that having a parent company with the same name as the social app is confusing, adding that it’s important to have a different relationship with a product than you do with the parent company.
In his founder’s letter he says that the company is so tightly linked with one product that it can no longer represent the direction the company is moving.
So, to be clear, apps like Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, all owned by the parent Facebook (sorry, Meta), won’t change their name.
What Meta brings instead is two areas – one for social apps, such as Facebook and one for new platforms. It’s a shift away from the company being a social media brand to a technological one.
The rebrand centres around the idea of a metaverse, a place of virtual reality where people can escape from the real world. This idea, of people fleeing to a virtual world, came first from Snow Crash, a 1992 novel by Neal Stephenson. And Mark Zuckerberg believes in it.
And that’s Zuckerberg’s vision. He believes more and more people will be immersed in a Total Recall style virtual world of avatars and holograms. It’s a new world of virtual goods and services.
In his founder’s letter, Mark Zuckerberg writes:
“We are at the beginning of the next chapter for the internet, and it’s the next chapter for our company too.
“In the metaverse, you’ll be able to do almost anything you can imagine — get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create — as well as completely new experiences that don’t really fit how we think about computers or phones today.”
Zuckerberg sees the metaverse as something that will be built by creators around the world. Meta’s own platform Horizon will allow connectivity with devices from other manufacturers to build a universal world of virtual connectivity.
He also says the company’s focus is still on bringing people together and creating tech that brings people together.