Facebook changes its name to Meta in rebranding effort
Mark Zuckerberg, the head of Facebook, announced this Thursday that the company’s headquarters will be renamed Meta, to better represent all its activities, although the name of the different networks will remain.
The change occurs when the social media giant tries to defend itself from one of its worst crises and, at the same time, directs its ambitions towards the “metaverse” version of virtual reality that it regards as the future.
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp will keep their names in the group’s new name.
“We learned a lot from wrestling with social issues and living on closed platforms, and now is the time to take what we learned and help build the next chapter,” Zuckerberg said during an annual developer conference.
“I am proud to announce that as of today, our company is Meta. Our mission remains the same, to connect people, and our applications and brands will not change,” he added.
Critics of Facebook released reports last week that revealed that the company was aiming to distract attention from recent scandals and controversies at its center with the name change.
A group calling itself “Facebook’s true oversight board,” warned that large corporations, such as oil and tobacco companies, are changing their names to “divert attention” from their problems.
“Facebook believes that renaming will help them change the subject,” the group said last week. He added that the “real problem” is the need for supervision and regulation.
Facebook announced plans 10 days ago to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to develop the “metaverse,” with Zuckerberg emerging as the pioneer in promoting that concept.
Facebook in Moment of crisis
Facebook has been fighting a new crisis since its former employee Frances Haugen leaked numerous internal studies that showed executives were aware of the potential damage their sites cause, sparking a renewed push in the United States to regulate activities on the web.
Facebook has suffered from other major crises before, but its current vision fueled a frenzy of scathing reporting and scrutiny from US regulators.
“Good faith reviews help us improve, but in my opinion what we see is a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false image of our company,” Zuckerberg said Monday.
The Washington Post suggested last month that Facebook’s interest in the metaverse is “part of a broader push to rehabilitate the company’s reputation with lawmakers and reposition Facebook to shape regulation of Internet technologies. “.
Google rebranded itself Alphabet in a corporate overhaul in 2015, but its search engine and online advertising remain its key unit despite having undertaken other operations, such as self-driving car development Waymo and scientific unit Verily.