Old m8 Mark Zuckerberg has announced over the weekend that the major tech giant will be rebranding, changing the company’s name from Facebook to Meta.
The Facebook app will still retain its name, however the move to rebrand the company as Meta is part of the company’s plan to expand their services into the metaverse, or virtual world.
According to the company, the move is to allow them to umbrella all of their “apps and technologies under one new company brand”.
Meta will be split into two core functions, with one half being the running of the company’s core social media platforms, and the other being Reality Labs, which is the brand’s dedication division to the metaverse. There is reportedly $US10b in funding going into Reality Labs in 2022.
The company, alongside Facebook, also famously owns Instagram and WhatsApp too. They’ve also invested in a bunch of major technologies, including digital wallet Novi, VR system Oculus, and video-calling device Portal.
It’s a bold assumption to make that the metaverse will be the future of technology, with such little accessibility to those platforms available to the average household right now, however with VR systems becoming increasingly more affordable, they are hedging their bets that this will be the future of technology.
“By the end of this decade, or even by the middle of the decade, I would guess that we’re going to reach a point where our VR (virtual reality) devices will start to be clearly better for almost every use case than our laptops and computers are,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with tech newsletter Stratechery.
Some have criticised the tech company for using this tactic as a distraction from the many controversies currently marring the brand, including user’s lack of privacy and security whilst using the Facebook platform, and the darker side of working as a moderator on the social media service.
The move however, according to Zuckerberg, is to open themselves up to more possibilities as a tech company.
“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,” Zuckerberg said in an open letter. “The metaverse is the next frontier.”
On an author’s note, I can’t help but feel as though there are some slight dystopian undertones to this entire project, but time will tell.