According to Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has changed its name to Meta, effectively demoting Facebook’s namesake service to the status of a subsidiary alongside Instagram and WhatsApp.
Zuckerberg announced the name change during the company’s virtual reality and augmented reality conference. Facebook connect aligns with the company’s efforts to focus on the growth of metaverse, which refers to efforts to combine virtual and augmented reality technologies in a new online realm.
Mark Zuckerberg said, “It is an iconic social media brand, but increasingly it just doesn’t encompass everything that we do.” Today we’re seen as a social media company,” he added, “but in our DNA, we are a company that builds technology to connect people.” Metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started.”
According to Zuckerberg, the Greek word ‘Meta,’ which means inspired by the new company name “beyond,” always represents more to build.
The name, however, has been mocked on social media, and according to reports, the word meta means ‘dead’ in Hebrew. Could the name spark another debate?
In addition, the company changed its common corporate sign, which featured the thumps image, to a blue infinity sign outside its California headquarters.
The change is scheduled to go into effect in the fourth quarter. The company has stated that it will separate Facebook Reality Labs, a division dedicated to augmented and virtual reality services, as a separate reporting segment from its social apps.
Facebook has announced no administrative changes other than changing Mark Zuckerberg’s job title on his personal Facebook page to Founder and CEO at Meta.
During the product event, Mark Zuckerberg teased a series of concept videos that depict metaverse’s vision, such as sending a holographic image of yourself to a concert with a friend in real life, sitting around virtual meeting tables with remote colleagues, or playing games with friends.
According to Facebook, it plans to hire 10,000 people in Europe to build out the concept.
Mark also announced that Messenger calling is coming to VR and plans to run a virtual marketplace where developers can sell their virtual goods and a new home screen in Oculus Quest to make virtual world chat and games more social.
He stated, “Your devices won’t be the focal point of your attention anymore,” and added, “We’re seeing a lot of these technologies coming together in the next five or ten years.” A lot of this is going to be mainstream, and a lot of us will create and inhabit worlds that are just as detailed and convincing as this one, daily.”
The move follows days of widespread outages on Facebook and other platforms, such as Instagram, Oculus, and Messenger. The blackout occurred because of a command issued during maintenance, resulting in the background network’s shutdown that connects all Facebook data centers.
The shutdown, which cost the platform an estimated $65 million during the outage, perplexed many users.
According to reports, the outage hurt Mark Zuckerberg’s figures the most, as the Facebook stock fell 4.8 percent in trading. The fall reduced the CEO’s fortune by about 5.9 billion dollars.
Facebook is the most popular social network, with about 2.89 billion monthly active users by the second quarter of 2021.
However, Facebook joins the list of companies or brands that changed names over the years, such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, which shortened its name to KFC, and car manufacturer Datsun, which changed its name to Nissan. Some brands change names because of scandals, such as ValuJet, which changed its name to AirTran after its plane crashed.
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