Some of Facebook’s biggest critics seemed unimpressed. The Real Facebook Oversight Board, a watchdog group focused on the company, announced that it will keep its own name.
“Changing their name doesn’t change reality: Facebook is destroying our democracy and is the world’s leading peddler of disinformation and hate,” the group said in a statement. “Their meaningless name change should not distract from the investigation, regulation and real, independent oversight needed to hold Facebook accountable.”
In explaining the rebrand, Zuckerberg said the name “Facebook” just doesn’t encompass everything the company does any more. In addition to its primary social network, that now includes Instagram, Messenger, its Quest VR headset, its Horizon VR platform and more.
A Facebook demo video suggests the company may someday allow virtual chess games across the world via holograms.
“Today we are seen as a social media company,” Zuckerberg said. “But in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people.”
A corporate rebranding won’t solve the myriad problems at Facebook revealed by thousands of internal documents in recent weeks. It probably won’t even get people to stop calling the social media giant Facebook — or a “social media giant,” for that matter.
But that isn’t stopping Zuckerberg, seemingly eager to move on to his next big thing as crisis after crisis emerges at the company he created.
While largely dismissing revelations from the Facebook Papers as unfair criticism, Zuckerberg has focused on building a virtual environment you can go inside of instead of just looking at on a screen.
Just as smartphones replaced desktop computers, Zuckerberg is betting that the metaverse will be the next way people will interact with computers — and each other. If Instagram and messaging were Facebook’s forays into the mobile evolution, Meta is its bet on the metaverse. And what’s better than a name change to show how serious he is?
A metaverse-focused fund, the Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF, already started trading on the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker symbol META earlier this year, which may have forced Facebook to choose MVRS instead.
“I think my phone is melting,” its creator, metaverse enthusiast Matthew Ball, tweeted Thursday after Zuckerberg’s announcement. He said in an interview that he welcomed Facebook’s metaverse vision, noting the company was already one of the highest-rated stocks in his index.
“It doesn’t bother me at all,” he said