CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta at Connect 2021, which unifies all apps and technologies under a single new company name. Meta’s primary goal will be to bring the metaverse to life and assist people in connecting, finding communities, and growing enterprises.
The metaverse will feel like a mash-up of today’s online social encounters, stretched into three dimensions or projected into the physical world at times. It will allow you to enjoy immersive experiences with others even when you are unable to be together — and do things together that you would not be able to do in the actual world.
“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,” Zuckerberg said. “From now on, we’re going to be metaverse-first, not Facebook first.”
During a virtual keynote for the company’s Connect event, Zuckerberg revealed the new name. Facebook and its “family of apps” will now be a part of the bigger Meta company, which will still be overseen by Zuckerberg.
The name is being positioned as more symbolic of the company’s future intentions to transition from a social network to a metaverse company. Zuckerberg is still defining what it means to be a “metaverse firm” in terms of its main platform and users but augmented and virtual reality are key to the idea. The company has already demonstrated an early version of one product, Horizon Workrooms, which allows users to conduct meetings in virtual reality.
In addition, the company showcased new “Horizon Home” and “Horizon Venues” experiences. (According to new CTO Andrew Bosworth, all of the company’s social VR products will come under the bigger “Meta Horizon” brand.) Earlier this month, the company revealed intentions to hire 10,000 new employees in Europe to help build out its metaverse.
The new name also implies that the iconic Facebook “thumbs up” will no longer serve as the company’s official logo or be shown on signage at its headquarters. (Incidentally, a prominent theme of the Facebook Papers disclosures has been the role of “likes” and other reactions in fostering hate and rage on Facebook.) The company stated in a blog post about the new name and logo design that the new logo was optimized for 3D experiences and “intended to be experienced from diverse perspectives and engaged with.”
It’s important to note that the new name has no effect on the core Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp services, which will continue to be recognized by their current names. However, as time passes, the services may provide more metaverse-oriented experiences. According to Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri, users should expect “a more immersive Instagram experience in the metaverse.”
Bosworth additionally mentions that some “relevant products and services” will be rebranded, such as the Portal range, which will eventually be marketed as “Meta Portal.” The company also intends to “retire” the Oculus brand, with the VR products adopting the Meta name.