Oakland, California (NWN) – Like many other companies that have faced problems before, Facebook is changing its name and logo.
Facebook Inc. now called Meta Platforms Inc., or Meta for short, to reflect what CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday about his commitment to developing a new technology around him known as the “metaverse.”… “But the social network itself will still be called Facebook.
Also unchanged, at least for now, are its CEO and senior management, corporate structure and the crisis that has engulfed the company.
Skeptics immediately accused the company of trying to change the subject from Facebook Papers. a treasure trove of leaked documents that plunged him into the biggest crisis since he was founded in Zuckerberg’s dorm room at Harvard 17 years ago. The documents say Facebook is prioritizing profits before ridding its platform of hate, political strife, and disinformation around the world.
The move reminded marketing consultant Laura Rees of how energy company BP renamed itself Beyond Petroleum to avoid criticism that the oil giant is damaging the environment.
“Facebook is a global social media platform and they are accused of creating something harmful to people and society,” she said. “They can’t leave the social network with a new company name and talk about the future metaverse.”
The Facebook app does not change its name. There is also no Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. The corporate structure of the company will not change either. But on December 1, its shares will begin trading under the new MVRS ticker.
The Metaverse is a kind of Internet, brought to life, or at least rendered in 3D. Zuckerberg described it as a “virtual environment” that you can enter rather than just look at a screen. People can meet, work and play using virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps, or other devices.
According to Victoria Petrok, an analyst who monitors new technologies, it will also include other aspects of online life such as shopping and social media.
Zuckerberg’s foray into virtual reality has sparked some comparisons to the space adventures of his billionaire fellows and jokes that it is perhaps understandable that he would like to escape his current reality amid calls for resignation and greater control of the company.
On Monday, Zuckerberg announced a new segment for Facebook that will begin reporting its financial results separately from the company’s App Family segment starting in the last quarter of this year. Reality Labs said Facebook’s total operating income will decline by about $ 10 billion this year.
Other tech companies like Microsoft, chip maker Nvidia and Fortnite maker Epic Games have laid out their own vision of how the metaverse will work.
Zuckerberg said he expects the metaverse to reach a billion people over the next decade, and that he hopes the new technology will create millions of jobs for creators.
The announcement comes amid heightened legislative and regulatory scrutiny over Facebook in many parts of the world due to Facebook posts. A corporate rebranding is unlikely to solve many of the problems identified in internal filings or allay the anxiety raised by critics. years about the harm that the company’s products cause to society.
Zuckerberg, for his part, largely dismissed the Facebook posting sensation as unfair.
Interestingly, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, run by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, bought a Canadian non-fiction research company called Meta in 2017.
However, by Thursday afternoon, its website Meta.org announced that it would “shut down” at the end of March. In the meantime, the Meta.com domain was redirected to the corporate site of the former Facebook with a rebrand.
At the headquarters in Menlo Park, California, the iconic “thumb up” long outside has been repainted with a blue pretzel logo reminiscent of the infinity symbol.
Some of Facebook’s biggest critics didn’t seem to be impressed by the name change. The Supervisory Board of Real Facebook, the company’s oversight group, has announced that it will retain its name.
“The name change does not change reality: Facebook is destroying our democracy and is the leading disseminator of misinformation and hatred in the world,” the group said in a statement. “Their mindless name change should not distract from the investigation, regulation and real independent oversight needed to hold Facebook accountable.”
Explaining the rebranding, Zuckerberg said the Facebook name no longer encompasses everything the company does. In addition to the social network, it now includes Instagram, Messenger, the Quest VR headset, the Horizon VR platform, and more.
“Today we are considered a social media company,” Zuckerberg said. “But in our DNA, we are a company that creates technology to connect people.”
Associated Press contributors Mae Anderson and Tali Arbel of New York and Matt O’Brien of Providence, RI contributed to this report.