Facebook Inc has recently undergone a major rebrand and changed its name to Meta, signaling its focus on building the “metaverse” – a virtual environment that is expected to replace the mobile internet. The new name, derived from the Greek word for “beyond,” reflects the company’s belief in continuous innovation and growth.

During the company’s virtual and augmented reality conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized that the name change represents a shift in focus from Facebook’s social media service to its investment in the metaverse. The metaverse, a concept originating from the novel “Snow Crash,” refers to a virtual realm accessible through different devices. Zuckerberg acknowledged that the existing Facebook brand is too closely associated with a single product and doesn’t adequately represent the company’s broader work and future plans.

Meta, which heavily invests in augmented and virtual reality, aims to unify its various applications and technologies under one brand. Despite this rebranding effort, the company’s corporate structure will remain unchanged. With approximately 2.9 billion monthly users, Meta has faced increasing scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers worldwide. Recent whistleblower allegations by former employee Frances Haugen, highlighting concerns regarding user safety and profit prioritization, have further heightened challenges for the company. Zuckerberg, however, dismissed the leaked documents as distorted truths.

In a blog post, Meta announced its intention to begin trading under the new stock ticker symbol, MVRS, starting from December 1. The company also unveiled a new logo, replacing the familiar “Like” symbol with a blue infinity shape. This rebranding aims to signify a fresh start and distance the company from its tarnished reputation.

As part of the restructuring, Meta’s hardware division, Facebook Reality Labs, will become a separate reporting unit. The investment in augmented and virtual reality is expected to result in around a $10 billion decrease in this year’s total operating profit. Meta plans to hire 10,000 employees in Europe within the next five years to further support its metaverse endeavors.

Despite the controversies surrounding the Facebook name, CEO Zuckerberg has no plans to step down. The division responsible for augmented and virtual reality will undergo a name change to Reality Labs, and Meta will replace the Oculus branding for its VR headsets.

While the name change is a significant rebranding effort, Meta had previously altered its logo in 2019 to create a clear distinction between the company and its social media app. Facebook has faced numerous challenges, including data privacy concerns, the spread of misinformation, and antitrust lawsuits. Experts believe that while a name change may ease some confusion, it does not erase the underlying issues within the company.

The decision to phase out the Facebook name from products like Portal, the video calling device, reflects Meta’s attempt to shield its other apps from the negative perception associated with the Facebook brand. However, the Facebook name remains damaged and tainted, according to marketing professor Prashant Malaviya.

To Zuckerberg, the new name represents endless opportunities for growth and expansion. The rebranding suggests that users will eventually be able to access Meta’s services without using Facebook. This strategic move aligns with other tech giants such as Google, which created Alphabet Inc in 2015, and Snapchat, which rebranded to Snap Inc in 2016, highlighting their diversification and expansion into new areas.

At Meta’s Connect conference, the company unveiled several updates and innovations in augmented and virtual reality products. These include the ability for Oculus VR headset users to call friends using Facebook Messenger and a social version of people’s homes called “Horizon Home.” Zuckerberg presented video demos showcasing the vision for the metaverse, emphasizing the importance of safety and privacy in its development.

Ultimately, the rebranding to Meta signifies a significant shift in Facebook’s strategy towards building the metaverse and expanding its presence in virtual reality. As the company grapples with ongoing controversies and challenges, it remains committed to shaping the future of digital experiences and connecting people in innovative ways.

(Useful links: Facebook Meta Official Website: Reports on Meta’s Rebranding:)