Facebook has a new name. In a move that surprised experts, Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the globally recognized brand would be renamed. The name change is a big shakeup that represents Facebook's pivot to focusing on the future rather than the past.
Facebook Inc is now known as Meta.
So what does this mean for Facebook? For the immediate future, not much.
Zuckerberg's name change, so far, only affects the topline name. Over the past decade, Facebook expanded and added multiple different social media companies and tech companies to its portfolio including Instagram, Whatsapp, and Oculus. Now, these companies will all exist under the umbrella of Meta.
This is a similar move to what Google did years ago when they formed Alphabet. Google exists under Alphabet, the umbrella parent company that holds all of the subsidiaries of Google. Facebook is planning on doing the same thing.
Popular social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp will retain their well-known names for the foreseeable future. That means that you will still log into Facebook - you won't be logging into Meta. At least, not yet.
Facebook has purchased dozens of companies since 2010 and all of these acquisitions will now exist under the newly branded Meta Inc rather than under Facebook's name.
Mark Zuckerberg hopes that one day you will log into a "metaverse". His plan is for Facebook to pioneer the transformation of the internet from a 2D tool we use on our phones to a 3D lifestyle that we exist in all of the time. The metaverse will try to bring together virtual reality, personalized tailored internet content, and augmented reality into an entirely new way to experience the digital world. According to the New York Times, Facebook already has 10,000 employees working on various aspects of the metaverse.
The only Facebook brand that has been announced to be affected by the rebranding is the virtual reality hardware division Oculus. Meta will move to rebrand Oculus starting in 2022 to something more in line with their new focus on the metaverse.
The name change also comes as Facebook continues to be embroiled in a series of ongoing scandals. A former employee turned whistleblower came forward with internal documents with concerns over Facebook's growing power in the world and spoke to Congress about those concerns. There is also growing evidence that Facebook played a bigger role in the January 6th capitol riots than they are willing to admit.
Detractors say that the name change and focus on a shiny new metaverse is simply a way for Mark Zuckerberg to shift focus away from Facebook's glaring problems to something different. And some can't blame him for doing so. Facebook's stock is down 6.7% in the past month.
No matter what the motivation or the timing, Facebook Inc is now Meta. If you see anything about Meta going forward, know that that is now Facebook's parent company. There are no plans to change the iconic Facebook branding for their mainline social media sites at this time.