Recently it had become clear that Facebook will be changing its name to Meta. Today I will be explaining why Facebook took these steps and what it is trying to achieve, as well as to answer the question: “is this the end of Facebook?”.
As was mentioned by Mark Zuckerberg around the end of October, Facebook’s name will be replaced by the name Meta. It is important to understand that Facebook will not rename its app, as the name is so widely known, but it will change the name of the company. Zuckerberg announced the new name will better represent the future goals of the company. Meta, meaning beyond or change, refers to metaverse, which indicates a virtual world someone can disappear to and do whatever they enjoy. Metaverse is often seen in movies, where the viewer can disappear into a dystopian society. So what are Facebook’s, or actually Meta’s, future goals? Zuckerberg said the company would like to take the internet and its current Facebook-users to the next level: people should not simply look at internet and social media, but they should be able to experience it as well. Here, the company is referring to the increased use of VR-vision and 3D experiences.
Facebook has been working on a new application, which is still in beta, called Horizon. This app is a virtual-reality world where users can do whatever they want: meet friends, play games, relax and be alone, do sports and much more. You can check out their marketing video down below!
The other side of the story
Some critics feel there is more going on than just a name change to better fit Facebook’s future outlook. Facebook has been in the news quite often over the past few years and this news has been everything but positive, think about the company’s privacy issues, its claimed influences during elections, its influence on the Whitehouse riot earlier this year, data leaks and probably much more. Next to this, a whistle-blower from within the company has released a number of documents, also referred to as The Facebook Files, showing how the Facebook company operates and handles misinformation. Because of all this, stocks have been plummeting. It is for this reasons that critics argue Facebook announced its new name, to divert the negative attention and publicity from the company. Hence, the introduction of Meta is a strategic decision. Nevertheless, many people will keep remembering the company’s old name and automatically link their negative thoughts to the company. Next to this, introducing a new name in difficult times might emphasize Facebook’s issues. It is therefore doubtful whether the new name will have a positive effect for Facebook’s publicity.
The end of Facebook?
If there is one thing that has become clear, it is that Facebook is not planning on quitting. The company recently presented its future ambitions and is still working hard to introduce its new application Horizon. However, if the Facebook app and Meta will keep receiving negative publicity in the future, stakeholders might be opting out and the app’s users might decide to leave Facebook behind. So, for that reason, it is not clear what Facebook’s future will be.