Facebook’s Corporate Name has been Changed to ‘Meta’
Mark Zuckerberg is now chairman and CEO of Meta.
As the parent company of Facebook’s social services and AR/VR businesses, the renamed Meta is meant to reflect Zuckerberg’s positioning of the firm as centered on “metaverse” experiences and services, which he believes will reach 1 billion people in the next decade.
“Our aim stays the same – it’s still about bringing people together,” Zuckerberg said at the start of Facebook Connect, the company’s annual conference for AR/VR developers and makers, on Thursday. “However, we now have a new North Star to help bring the metaverse to life, as well as a new name that symbolizes the entire scope of what we do and the future that we want to help build.”
According to Zuckerberg, Facebook is one of the most widely used products on the planet, but it “increasingly does not contain everything we do.”
“From now on, we’re going to be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first,” he continued, implying that customers will eventually be able to access the company’s other products without using Facebook.
By changing its name to Meta, Facebook is also establishing a new tale about the mammoth firm, which comes amid a flurry of recent pieces from major news publications revealing fresh secrets about its inner workings. The reports are based on a cache of leaked documents known as “The Facebook Papers,” which indicate that top Facebook executives, including Zuckerberg, ignored staff concerns about problems including misinformation.
The metaverse, according to Zuckerberg, goes beyond typical social media by allowing individuals to communicate in considerably more engaging ways in virtual worlds. Ecommerce activities are part of the metaverse strategy, according to Zuckerberg, and will help the company minimize its dependency on competitors like Apple and Google.
“We’re known as a social-media company today,” Zuckerberg added, “but our DNA centers around inventing technology to link people, and the metaverse is the next frontier.”
The business aims to begin trading under the new stock ticker symbol “MVRS” on December 1 with the new Meta name. “Meta Platforms, Inc.” is the full name of the company. The announcement “does not impact how we utilize or share data,” according to the business. Facebook’s name change to Meta is comparable to Google’s parent company’s name change to Alphabet in 2015.
This Monday, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will invest $10 billion in metaverse projects this year, including Oculus VR products, smart eyewear, and ecommerce, an amount he intends to grow in the coming years. Before the metaverse reaches size, Meta intends to spend “many billions of dollars,” he said on Thursday (October 28, 2021).
Facebook announced earlier this week that beginning with its Q4 earnings, it will split its results into two business segments: Family of Apps (FoA), which includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and other services, and Facebook Reality Labs (FRL), which includes augmented and virtual reality-related consumer hardware, software, and content.
At the end of Zuckerberg’s 75-minute keynote, the name change to Meta was announced. During the fun and forward-looking Facebook Connect webcast, Zuckerberg and other corporate executives demonstrated various virtual social-space concepts in development, including games, music and entertainment, fitness, remote work, learning, and shopping (to sell both digital and physical products). In the metaverse, people will be represented by avatars, which Zuckerberg describes as “living 3D representations of you” that are more detailed than social network profile photographs.
During Facebook Connect, Zuckerberg’s avatar joins colleagues in a metaverse meet-up.
On the gaming front, Oculus Quest 2 is collaborating with Vertigo Games, Epic Games, WarpFrog, and Rockstar Games on new VR projects, including a version of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” for Oculus Quest 2. According to Facebook’s chief business officer Marne Levine, the company would invest $150 million in VR learning content over the next three years.
Facebook is working on numerous new hardware devices as part of its metaverse push, including “Project Cambria,” a higher-end VR and mixed-reality headgear than the Oculus Quest 2 that is claimed to better portray the wearer’s expressions and body language. The release date for Project Cambria is set for 2022.
In addition to the recently released Ray-Ban Stories (beginning at $299), the business is working on Project Nazare, which will be “full AR” smart glasses. According to Zuckerberg, the company is also working on technology that would allow users to have an immersive, all-day metaverse experience. He highlighted the company’s work in AR and VR neural interfaces, which use electromyography (EMG) inputs to translate a person’s electrical motor nerve signals into commands for virtual experiences.
According to Zuckerberg, privacy, safety, and interoperability “must be incorporated into the metaverse from Day One… These have to be the foundational elements.”
Horizon refers to the company’s metaverse platform, while Spark AR refers to a suite of tools for building augmented-reality experiences that overlay the real world.
Whistleblowers have disclosed internal documents to a group of media sites, accusing Facebook of prioritizing profits before safety, which has resulted in a spate of bad press for the corporation in recent weeks. The corporation has retaliated, claiming that the documents were cherry-picked from internal research and discussion boards.
On Facebook’s Q3 results call, Zuckerberg slammed a “coordinated attempt” by media outlets to “selectively utilize hacked material to present a false picture of our firm.” He also stated that issues such as misinformation are “not exclusively social media-related.”
“We’ve learned through battling with difficult societal issues and living under closed platforms,” Zuckerberg said at the end of his lecture on Thursday. It’s now time to put all we’ve learned to work on the next chapter.”