Facebook, a US conglomerate and multinational company, has announced change of its name in a major and unprecedented rebranding effort.
The announcement was contained in a statement issued on Thursday by Mark Zuckerberg founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Facebook.
Zuckerberg said the company will now be known as Meta, noting that the rebranding is part of ongoing efforts to align the company with its future endeavours.
According to him, the change of name will reflect the company’s efforts on rebranding its future operations.
“To reflect who we are and the future we hope to build, I’m proud to share that our company is now Meta,” Zuckerberg said.
On whether the change of name will affect its major apps and services, Zuckerberg said the mission and objectives will not be affected by the rebranding, noting that its core values and objectives of connecting people remains a priority and that the commitment to change lives positively through technology remains unchanged.
He disclose that, despite retaining their essence, it apps will now represent a new vision which is to assist in materialisation of the metaverse concept.
“From now on, we will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first. That means that over time you won’t need a Facebook account to use our other services. As our new brand starts showing up in our products, I hope people around the world come to know the Meta brand and the future we stand for.” Zuckerberg said
Facebook’s rebrand is sequel to its unrelenting drive to build its futuristic “metaverse”, a virtual-reality space in which users communicate with a computer-generated milieu and other users.
The company has invested massively in virtual/augmented reality, developing hardware like its Oculus VR headsets, working on AR glasses and wristband technologies, and buying a bevy of VR gaming studios, including BigBox VR.
“In this future, you will be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parents’ living room to catch up,” he said.
He said this will create more more opportunities and also break physical barriers that sometimes impedes social gathering. He added that people will be able give more attention to things that are dear to them while also contributing to making one’s immediate environment and the world at large a better and safer place.
“You’ll be able to spend more time on what matters to you, cut downtime in traffic, and reduce your carbon footprint.” Zuckerberg said
However, Facebook’s rechristening is coming at a time it’s grappling with deep public mistrust and misgivings occasioned by protracted regulatory and PR imbroglio. The company has find itself in troubled water lately after reports based on documents leaked by the whistleblower Frances Haugen came to public knowledge. The reports exposed toxic business practices and awareness of its longterm negative public health impact.
Experts say the rebranding is part of underhand tactics and implicit efforts to divert public attention away from the company’s exposed nefarious activities.