Facebook Is Rebranding – What Does It Mean For Users And Their Future?

Facebook is rebranding itself as Meta Platforms, Inc., announced by Mark Zuckerberg at the social network’s annual Connect conference on October 28. The rebranding has been all over the news, so it’s the best kind of viral hype for them. But I’m a bit skeptical.  


At first, their name change sure sounded like a scam, but now, there are more and more credible sources covering it. The rebrand seems like an attempt to give itself a facelift, particularly with all the recent bad press. But, again, maybe I’m just skeptical.  

Maybe the rebrand is due to the fact that their audience demographics are aging; this could just be an attempt to tap into a younger audience just as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) become more mainstream. After all, it seems reasonable to assume that a giant company like Facebook would never undertake a rebranding of THAT magnitude without a really good reason for it.  

What Does Facebook Say About The Rebranding?

My skepticism aside, Zuckerberg claims that the rebrand comes from an effort to focus on the “metaverse.” And this rebranding isn’t the only one we’ve seen. Google renamed their parent company as “Alphabet” in 2015 to allow it to expand beyond Internet searches and advertising. The name change ushered in their trajectory as a technology conglomerate with better protection against antitrust violations.  

How Does The Change Affect Users?

If all their reports are accurate, the rebranding should not affect users at all. All of their platforms will retain their names: Instagram, Facebook, Oculus, WhatsUp, Onavo, and Beluga. The evolution in Facebook’s corporate name is supposed to sync them more seamlessly with the metaverse, including AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality).  

Zuckerberg said, “We live for what we build. As we make mistakes, we keep learning, building and moving forward.” From a user perspective, he could have worded that line a bit more diplomatically. Did he really admit that they’ve made mistakes? But, they’re “moving forward.” It’s a hopeful speech, but it’s not really clear what they plan to build.  

Zuckerberg said: “Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future.” He wants the Metaverse to feel “like you’re right there with another person.” That could mean projecting your hologram into a virtual concert venue, a virtual gaming space, or even into a meeting room with high-powered, Fortune 500 clients.  

Of course, virtual concerts, VR gaming, and online meetings have ALL been done, albeit in what some would call early iterations. AltspaceVR allows you to participate in live shows, meetups, and cool classes. The Rec Room is a great way to create and play games together, with millions of rooms already available via cross-platform VR and phones.

What About The Future? Exploring This New Reality

In her article for the Wall Street Journal, Sarah E. Needleman says, “Facebook is already investing heavily in creating that new reality of shared online spaces inhabited by digital avatars, with projects ranging from virtual-reality glasses to an e-commerce platform.” This dream of an online world with lifelike interactivity won’t begin to be realized or become profitable until sometime later in this decade.  

The goal, according to Zuckerberg, is to “serve as many people as possible,” but that’s the approach he wants to take with building the metaverse. He says, “I view this work as critical to our mission because delivering a sense of presence — like you’re right there with another person — that’s the holy grail of online social experiences.” 

The goals of reaching a billion people, with hundreds of billions of dollars, are lofty, and won’t happen overnight. But, Zuckerberg says, “Over the next decade, these new platforms are going to start to unlock the kinds of experiences that I’ve wanted to build since even before I started Facebook.” It’s a gamble, but if the product ecosystem is successful, it could be worth trillions of dollars.  


What are your thoughts about Facebook’s new Meta rebrand? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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