Over the last two decades, Facebook has been synonymous with some of the most identifiable branding in the world: a large blue and white letter F.
On Thursday, the social networking behemoth made a clear move toward a makeover, renaming itself as Meta and de-emphasizing Facebook's name. The update was followed by a new company logo that was fashioned in the shape of an infinity symbol that was slightly off-kilter.
Facebook's other apps, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, will continue to exist, but under the Meta banner. The move exemplifies how Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, intends to refocus his Silicon Valley firm on what he sees as the next digital frontier: the integration of diverse digital realms into something termed the metaverse.
Mark Zuckerberg changed corporate's name and logo
At the same time, changing Facebook may help the firm remove itself from the current social networking concerns, such as how it is used to disseminate hate speech and misinformation.
Zuckerberg marked with the shift that his firm was moving beyond today's social networking, which has been the foundation of Facebook since its inception 17 years ago, the NY Times reported.
He said that having Facebook as the company name was no longer viable because the firm now owned several applications and was primarily about connecting people. Zuckerberg said that this was especially true given Facebook's commitment to creating a composite universe that combines online, virtual, and augmented worlds for users to easily navigate.
The change comes as Facebook tries to shake off a slew of scandals following the leak of company research showing Instagram's negative impact on teen mental health, Facebook's struggles to combat human trafficking on its platform, and the widespread dissemination of false election news on its sites by whistleblower Frances Haugen.
Indirectly addressing the topic at the event, a defiant Zuckerberg - who has not publicly reacted to requests to appear before Congress amid the scandals - accused opponents of being trapped in the past.
Nonetheless, the new name was met with derision on social media, with many critics claiming that the decision appeared to be a desperate attempt to divert attention away from the issue. Zuckerberg stated that the business intends to invest billions of dollars in the metaverse's development, and that he expects 1 billion users to join the virtual world in the next 10 years.
Facebook's changes come amid controversies
Ad revenue from Facebook's main products will help fund the metaverse's development, which the firm has predicted will be unprofitable for years, as per NY Post.
The new "Meta" logo for the corporation looks to be a twisted version of the infinity sign. Even when the main business gets renamed, one of the corporation's most successful products, Facebook, will keep its name.
During the pandemic, Facebook is said to have suppressed vital information regarding vaccination misinformation from policymakers, which has harmed the company's image. It was the most recent in a string of reports based on internal papers released to the media by ex-employee Haugen.
According to the claims, Facebook sat on studies showing that Instagram was harming teen mental health and struggled to remove hate speech from its platforms outside of the United States.
Per BBC, the stories have been dubbed a "coordinated attempt to selectively use leaked material to present a misleading picture of our firm" by Zuckerberg. What's evident is that overseeing Instagram and Facebook isn't something that excites Zuckerberg.
He is interested in establishing new virtual reality worlds and internet worlds. It must be exhausting to be constantly chastised for how he operates his social media businesses. This reorganization may allow him to focus more on the parts of the firm that he enjoys.