Why did Facebook change its name to Meta?

As of October 28th, Facebook announced a rebranding, changing its hugely popular name to Meta. First, it caused a bit of confusion, as people started to think that the company changed the name of its most popular platform. Then, after digging a bit deeper, it turned out that the new name refers to the parent enterprise that owns not only Facebook but also Instagram or WhatsApp. Still, everybody wondered why. What purpose did it have and was it really that crucial from the business perspective? Let’s dive into some details.

Why the change? Mark Zuckerberg explains

Quoting the company’s CEO: “Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future. Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and identity on what we’re building toward.”

Nonetheless, you should know that all of the platforms remain their previous names — so there’s no confusion there.

OK then, but what’s a metaverse?

Sooner or later, the internet we know will probably change and become a shared online 3D virtual space called the metaverse. It is supposed to replace computers and allow us to enter all kinds of different digital environments by using VR headsets — we’ll be able to use it for work, play, concerts, socialising, and more.

The concept, as thrilling and challenging as it is, gained the interest of many business giants, including Zuckerberg himself. Although the creator of Facebook wants to be the first one to build this new VR world, it’s still in the phase of a distant wishful thinking rather than a plan for the nearest future.

Following this path, the name Meta is supposed to encompass every segment of the company’s work and all of its aspirations. To highlight the change, the new branding covered the logo as well. Facebook, or actually Meta, is no longer associated with the thumbs-up, but with a blue infinity shape. Some say it’s boring, unoriginal, and already used by other brands, but it’s not our place to judge.

Trying to cover something up?

There’s a theory that the new name was used as a distraction from the inglorious Facebook Papers release. The documents highlighting the company’s issues resulted in bad press and caused political battles. But can Meta start afresh only by changing its name and logo? Pretending that everything’s great probably won’t get the company far, but maybe it’s a step forward to a larger revolution.