Surprising no one, Facebook is rebranding itself as Meta.
The news came at the very end of this year’s Facebook Connect event, following an unnecessarily long spiel by CEO Mark Zuckerberg about why the future of technology lies in the so-called metaverse. As for why Zuck wants to change the name? Apparently, the name Facebook makes people think too much of the social network and doesn’t reflect the totality of his ultimate ambitions for the company.
“Today we’re seen as a social media company. Facebook is one of the most used technology products in the history of the world. It’s an iconic social media brand,” Zuckerberg writes in a letter about the Meta rebrand. “Right now our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything we’re doing today, let alone the future.”
Folks were pretty sure the name change was coming for some time now. Not only had Facebook bought the domain meta.com, but Zuckerberg himself has also been banging on about the metaverse—a world where people interact with each other through AR and VR—for months now. Zuckerberg not only revealed the new logo for the company, he also noted that since meta is Greek for the word “beyond” the company’s services would no longer necessitate a Facebook account. Bloomberg anchor Caroline Hyde also tweeted that the company would begin trading as ‘MVRS’ starting Dec. 1, 2021.
“The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection,” reads Facebook’s Meta page. “Our company’s vision is to help bring the metaverse to life, so we are changing our name to reflect our commitment to this future.”
Throughout his keynote, Zuckerberg touched on some sci-fi-esque concepts, ranging from wristbands that can read your mind, to both photorealistic and stylized avatars. He also doubled down on the metaverse where people will be able to do such cursed activities as view NFT galleries, download the latest “merch,” and interact with avatars of celebrities. He also waxed poetic about the metaverse economy, which for some reason involves YouTube influencers selling perfumes called “Cuffing season.” (Question: How does one smell scents in the metaverse?)
In terms of hardware, Zuckerberg also referenced “Project Cambria”, a higher-end version of the Oculus Quest 2. You may have seen it earlier this month, as leaked renders. He also highlighted the recently launched Ray-Ban Stories, its smart sunglasses collaboration with Essilor Luxottica. And he referenced a more advanced smart glasses project but stated we were quite far from seeing them as a myriad of sensors and components would have to be shrunk to fit a 5mm frame.
Naturally, Zuckerberg admitted that a lot of the fantastical things shown in today’s keynote are years, perhaps even decades from fruition. One might wonder why Zuckerberg is so keen to jump the gun when the finish line is so far into the future. Well, Zuck had an answer for that, too.
“From now on, we will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first.”
Sure, buddy. You’ll always be Facebook in our shriveled hearts.