Facebook has a new name. Not the app, but the company. At the annual Connect conference on Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company’s new name is “Meta.”
The name is meant to evoke the new focus on building the metaverse, what Meta envisions as the natural evolution of the internet where users interact using all sorts of devices from AR to VR and even the best Android phones.
It’s also meant to separate the company from the social media app, and better envoke the various platforms and projects Meta is involved with beyond Facebook. During the presentation, Zuckerberg spoke about how the company has grown beyond just a social media app and has transitioned into a company focused on connecting people, whether through WhatsApp, Instagram, or its VR platform with the popular Oculus Quest 2.
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The name change follows a somewhat similar move made by Google in 2015 when it restructured and established Alphabet as its own parent company in an effort to make the company’s businesses “cleaner and more accountable.” However, Zuckerberg isn’t announcing any major changes to its business with the rebranding, as noted in an interview with The Verge:
There’s the financial reporting and segment reporting. There is the brand. There will be the account system. We’re not making org changes today as part of that. That might be something that I’ll consider in the future, but I don’t think that’s something that’s near term on the horizon.
Zuckerberg spoke of these reporting changes during the company’s recent Q3 earnings where he stated that Reality Labs, which is responsible for the company’s VR/AR efforts, will be reported separately from the company’s other products. This will allow investors to better track the progress being made as Meta continues to advance these experiences.
With launches like the new Ray-Ban Stories and its growing commitment to VR/AR experiences and the metaverse, Meta has indeed grown into a much different company from what it once was.
That said, Meta continues to face a myriad of antitrust battles that a simple name change won’t fix, even if it makes it easier to separate the company from the Facebook app. Recent troubles have targeted Meta’s other app, Instagram, and the harmful effects it has on teens, and it seems the company still has its work cut out in order to clear the air around its platform.