Enter the Metaverse
Inside Facebook’s pivot to the creation of the Metaverse. What does this mean for the future of the company — and is it just a ploy to distract us from its shady dealings?
Perhaps in an attempt to rebrand following its recent controversy, Mark Zuckerberg announced this week that Facebook would change its name to Meta. Announcing the switch during the company’s ‘Connect’ event Zuckerberg said “Together, we can finally put people at the centre of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy.” He added that the name Meta better reflects “Who we are and what we hope to build.”
The name change was also revealed in a series of tweets “Meta is helping to build the metaverse, a place where we’ll play and connect in 3D. Welcome to the next chapter of social connection.” and “The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection. It’s a collective project that will be created by people all over the world, and open to everyone. You’ll be able to socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what’s possible today.”
The change has come about, Zuckerberg says because he doesn’t feel the name Facebook fully describes everything the company now does, and does of course make users think of the social media app first and foremost. By expanding to ‘Meta’, Zuckerberg hopes consumers will view the company as a wide ranging one with fingers in multiple tech pies. “Today we are seen as a social media company, but in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started,” he said.
The name change is effective immediately and the company will change its stock ticker from FB to MVRS effective from December 1st.
This isn’t Zuckerberg’s first use of the word meta in his business. While meta.com now redirects to Facebook’s log in page, it previously redirected to meta.org, the website of the biomedical research arm of the Chan Zuckerberg Science Initiative which Zuckerberg co-founded with his wife the physician Priscilla Chan in 2015. According to a post on Thursday this website will be shut down in spring 2022.
But what else does it mean for the company?