Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that the tech company is renaming itself to “Meta” to encompass its expanding technology and role in what it calls, “the metaverse.” The company owns multiple technologies and apps including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus VR. In July, Zuckerberg told The Verge that over the next several years, Facebook would “effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”
What’s the metaverse? The way that Zuckerberg explains it in his founder’s letter today makes it sound like the next level of virtual reality: “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.”
What does this mean for Facebook? “Starting with our results for the fourth quarter of 2021, we plan to report on two operating segments: Family of Apps and Reality Labs,” said the announcement. “We also intend to start trading under the new stock ticker we have reserved, MVRS, on December 1. Today’s announcement does not affect how we use or share data.”
Why we care. The rebrand comes right as whistleblower revelations have Facebook under fire for its practices, morals, and social impact. It also begs the question if the metaverse will become a new frontier for advertising (especially as the Oculus has been testing ads in VR). But also, as marketers, we can’t look away from a branding fail and “Meta” just feels like one.
We will continue to update this announcement as we learn more.