Saturday, October 30, 2021

Facebook Rebrands and Becomes Meta


By now, everyone has heard the surprising news. On October 28, Facebook announced a new name: Facebook will now be known as Meta, which is Greek for “beyond.” The new logo is a blue infinite symbol that accompanies the name. Is this the most important marketing news of the year?

According to the press release from Facebook:

As Mark Zuckerberg described to media, the company is betting that it’ll be the next major computing platform after the rise of smartphones and the mobile web – thus, the impetus for the rebranding from Facebook to Meta.

Mark Zuckerberg explained, “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. [But] our 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. From now on, we’re going to be metaverse-first, not Facebook first. Over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and identity on what we’re building towards. [But] our mission remains the same – it’s still about bringing people together. Our apps and their brands aren’t changing either. We’re still the company that designs technology around people. As we broaden our vision, it’s time for us to adopt a new brand.”

Under the new arrangement, Facebook and its family of apps (Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp) will be a division of a larger Meta company still led by Zuckerberg that will ALSO focus on AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), and metaverse efforts. The company’s stock ticker will change from FB to MVRS on December 1, 2021.

If this sounds similar to Google’s restructuring, you’re correct. In a surprising move in 2015, Google became a subsidiary of “Alphabet.”

According to CNN Business, “A rebranding could be part of an effort to overhaul Facebook’s reputation and turn the page following a series of PR nightmares, including misinformation on its platforms, content moderation failures, and revelations about the negative effect its products have on some users’ mental health.”

On another note, apparently, when translated into Hebrew, “Meta” means “dead.” So, the hashtag that appeared on some social platforms was #FacebookDead.

Also, after the Meta announcement, fast-food chain Wendy’s changed its Twitter handle to “Meat” stating that it is going “Into the Meataverse.”

Will this rebrand achieve Zuckerberg’s goals? Will Facebook fans and users embrace the new name and logic behind the rebranding efforts? And finally, will Meta become the leader in the metaverse space? Only time will tell.

So now, back to the initial question of this post: Is Facebook’s new name the most surprising marketing news of the year? You’ll have to return to this Blog on January 1, 2022, and read my “Top 10 Marketing Highlights of 2021” post for the answer to that question.

Image Credit: Facebook/Meta.

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