In a news that may not be a massive surprise to industry watchers, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, announced a new corporate identity for the social networking giant he founded. Facebook Inc, which was the parent for all of social networking giant’s products ecosystem, will now be called ‘Meta’.
Announcing the new identity at the company’s augmented and virtual reality conference, Zuckerberg said “Right now our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything we’re doing today, let alone in the future. Over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.”
The name change comes at a critical juncture. While the company is projecting itself as a spearhead of the ‘metaverse’ (more on this later), it is also embroiled in lawsuits globally, around its anti-competitive practices. Facebook has since been trying to shed this image, of being a monopolistic big tech company, shunning down competition. It’s multiple acquisitions, Instagram, Whatsapp et al, haven’t helped the cause. Many are seeing this as an attempt by the company to shed those negatives and present itself as a more accommodative and responsible “social technology” company.
The same is reflected in Mark Zuckerberg’s announcing statements. He goes on to say “The metaverse will not be created by one company. It will be built by creators and developers making new experiences and digital items that are interoperable and unlock a massively larger creative economy than the one constrained by today’s platforms and their policies.”
So let us now move on to talking about this new Silicon Valley buzzword, ‘Metaverse’. Coined decades back in science fiction novels, Metaverse is nothing but the coming together of all kinds of different ways in which we exist. Think of it as a combination of our physical presence, clubbed with AR, VR, hologram tech among others. And this is exactly what this new
As Zuckerberg details, “In this future, 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. This will open up more opportunity no matter where you live. You’ll be able to spend more time on what matters to you, cut down time in traffic, and reduce your carbon footprint.”
And after having convincingly dominated the now-so-lame social media world, this metaverse is exactly what Zuckerberg now wants to conquer. And as exciting as it may sound to many, there are an equal number of apprehensions about the amount of control that we are continuing to hand over to such ‘social technology’ companies.
In terms of corporate structure, nothing is really changing at the old Facebook Inc. However, the new company will now report financials, slightly differently. Starting with the upcoming results for the fourth quarter of 2021, Meta plans to report on two operating segments: Family of Apps and Reality Labs. The company also intends to start trading under the new stock ticker we have reserved, MVRS, on December 1.