What is Happening?
Facebook, the tech giant mired in another round of controversy, has changed its company name to Meta, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday during an extended presentation outlining his future vision for the company.
On the surface, rebranding is a relatively typical business change. Meta is now the parent company overseeing the collection of brands that once fell under the Facebook umbrella. Facebook, the social media app and platform, will keep its name and become a division of Meta along with Instagram, messaging service WhatsApp, and virtual reality company Oculus. Google made a similar transition in 2015 when it moved its search engine and other brands to a new company called Alphabet.
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The name Meta is a reference to the “metaverse”, a concept for the future of the Internet that according to Zuckerberg would be the main focus of the company in the future. Definitions vary, but in general the metaverse refers to an immersive, three-dimensional digital world that overlaps or acts as a substitute for everyday reality. In Zuckerberg’s vision, it would allow users to do anything from attending meetings or concerts virtually to instantly buying digital or real products and interacting with friends as if they were in the same room. The idea of the metaverse is not new: the term was coined in a dystopian science fiction novel in 1992, and several other companies are pursuing their own versions of the metaverse.
The rebranding comes at a time when Facebook is under indictment for the revelations in the Facebook Papers, a series of internal documents released by a whistleblower showing that the company was aware of a wide range of damages caused by its products, but has chose to ignore them for the sake of keeping his profits.
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Because there is discussion
Critics of Facebook have argued that the company’s name change is largely intended to distract from the current public relations mess created by the Facebook Papers and previous scandals like privacy violations and election interference. They argue that putting the Facebook name under a new corporate umbrella can help prevent the company’s other brands from indulging in the anger that so many express towards the social media network. But others see the restructuring as much more than a PR move. Some argue that changing brands could be a way to avoid regulations that could stifle the company’s business or even lead to its dissolution. It could also make the company less dependent on the performance of its social media platforms, which some analysts say may decline in the coming years.
Many tech insiders argue that whatever the short-term benefits the name change may bring, the real motivation is that Facebook is betting on the metaverse as its future. The implications of this move, they say, could have huge implications for how we interact with the digital world. If its metaverse is successful, Facebook could gain complete control over a new version of the Internet that becomes the interface through which we experience reality or, in the most extreme predictions, supplant reality itself.
Right now, Facebook’s version of the metaverse is largely theoretical. Zuckerberg said it will take five to 10 years before it’s ready for the public. Some skeptics say it could take much longer or it could be impossible.
The metaverse is a fantasy intended to divert attention from the real-world impact of Facebook.
“Facebook’s problems are too numerous to list, so it’s launching products that don’t exist for a reality that doesn’t exist in a desperate attempt to change the narrative as it exists in reality, where we all live.” —Jason Koebler, Deputy
Facebook wants to dominate the next version of the Internet
“Zuckerberg clearly wants to become the dominant gateway to the next generation of the Internet, an ‘Internet incarnate’ in which we don’t just passively browse by looking at our phone and computer screens, we explore with our avatars. similar to how you might visit a real place.” — Rizwan Virk, NBC News
The name change is a sign that Facebook isn’t willing to put in the effort to fix its product 에볼루션게이밍.
“As the company faces some of the harshest and most undeniable criticism in its troubled history, it is attempting to put out the public relations fire with an expensive rebrand rather than double down on security and integrity investments.” — Carolyn Tackett, Thomson Reuters Foundation
The new name saves the company’s other brands from the bad image of Facebook
“If the name Meta does anything for Facebook, it could lead to confusion about who runs the program. … As the company plans to launch more and more products, distancing itself from the Facebook name could help build trust among its users. “- Arielle Pardes, cable
The restructuring could save Facebook from being cut.