The internet reacts to Facebook’s new ‘Meta’ name
Facebook has announced it will be changing its name to ‘Meta’ as a way to reflect its new focus on creating a ‘metaverse’ for internet users.
Billionaire boss Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement last night as part of the company’s virtual Connect event.
And it didn’t take long for the internet to start weighing in with its reactions.
Rival social media company Twitter was quick to point out it’s keeping its name just as it is.
‘BIG NEWS lol jk still Twitter,’ wrote Twitter’s official Twitter account.
Supermarket chain Aldi got in on the act, too.
It even went so far as to mock up a new logo for itself.
Aside from poking fun at the name change, many see it as a way of Facebook trying to divert attention from the stream of negative accusations the company has been hit with in recent months.
Dianne Abbot tweeted: ‘Mark Zuckerberg renames his company. But Facebook still promotes toxic content preying on children & teens. It also stokes division. In the end he puts his astronomical profits before people.’
Meanwhile, over in the US, politicians were similarly unimpressed.
Senator Richard Blumenthal tweeted: A new nom de plume may confuse & distract, but won’t erase years of devious practices & disregard for privacy, kids’ wellbeing, spreading hate, & genocide.
Others took a similar view.
The move is designed to represent Facebook’s broadening business portfolio beyond social networking.
The metaverse will eventually be an online world where people can meet, play and work virtually, often using VR headsets.
While the wider company name is being rebranded to Meta, the core Facebook service will remain unchanged.
This is similar to how Google created a new parent company name, Alphabet, in 2015 to represent its shift beyond simply being a search engine.
Zuckerberg said the current brand is ‘so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future.
‘Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards,” he said in a virtual conference.
‘We just announced that we were making a fundamental change to our company. We’re now looking at and reporting on our business as two different segments, one for our family of apps, and one for our work on future platforms.
‘And as part of this, it is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do to reflect who we are and what we hope to build.’
As part of the plan, the Oculus brand, used for the company’s virtual reality products, will be retired from next year.
Incoming chief technology officer Andrew Bosworth, who currently heads up AR and VR for the firm, said that starting in early 2022, Oculus Quest from Facebook will be changed to Meta Quest, while the Oculus App will become the Meta Quest App.
In the meantime, spare a thought for musical artist Meta, who has just had his entire identity taken by one of the largest tech corporations on the planet.