Facebook rebrands to Meta: ‘We’re going to be metaverse first’

Facebook Inc, the parent company for Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has rebranded to Meta during its annual Connect event earlier today  Australian time, effective immediately.

The rebrand was rumoured to be announced after last week after an article was published in Vox Media’s The Verge.

During a pre-recorded live session, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “Our mission remains the same: still about bringing people together. Our apps and their brands, they’re not changing either. And we are still the company that designs technology around people. Now, we have a new north star: bring the metaverse to life. And we have a new name that reflects the full breadth of what we do and the future that we want to help build from now on.

“We’re going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first. That means that over time, you won’t need to use Facebook to use our other services. And as our new brand starts showing up in our products, I hope that people come to know the Meta brand and the future that we stand for.”

Zuckerberg continued: “I’m proud of what we’ve built so far and excited about what comes next as we move beyond what’s possible today beyond the constraints of screens, beyond the limits of distance and physics and towards a future where everyone can be present with each other, create new opportunities and experience new things. It’s a future that is beyond any one company that will be made by all of us.

“We’ve built things that have brought people together in new ways. We’ve learned a lot from struggling with social issues and living under closed platforms. And now it is time to take everything that we’ve learned and help build the next chapter.

“I am dedicating our energy to this more than any other company in the world. And if this is the future, See that I hope that you will join us because the future is going to be beyond anything we can imagine.”

The move marks a pivot by the company from social media to a dedication to the metaverse, a concept that includes, amongst other things, virtual reality spaces.

Will Easton, managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said metaverse is the next evolution in online social technology. “While nothing beats being together in person, recent months have highlighted how, when that’s not possible or practical, the digital world can still help us feel connected. The metaverse will help us get closer to feeling that in-person presence through sharing a space rather than a screen.

“Facebook isn’t going to build, own or run the metaverse on its own, we will be collaborating at every stage with policymakers, experts and industry partners. There are already a wealth of Australian companies and creators working in this space, including fashion designers, gaming and VR experience creators, academics and marketers experimenting with new immersive formats. Australia has an opportunity to be on the forefront of this technology even at this early stage of its development.”

GroupM’s product director Charles Dangibeaud explained the meaning of the metaverse and its consequences for marketers in an opinion piece for Mumbrella.

Mumbrella previously reported that Facebook had filed a trademark for “Horizon” in Australia. Some of Facebook’s suite of virtual reality products fall under the name of Horizon, such as Horizon Worlds, which is currently in beta.


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