After a week of rumours, this year’s Connect event made it official that Facebook – the parent company behind the titular social media platform – has formally rebranded as Meta, signifying its pivot from focussing on only social media to “building the metaverse”.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement yesterday (October 28), taking to the virtual stage at his company’s annual Connect conference to outline Meta’s future as a broader company, and in particular, how VR will elevate its services.
Zuckerberg said that as a brand, Facebook could not “possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future”. He went on to explain that he envisions the former social media giant being “seen as a metaverse company”, with the aim being “to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards”.
He continued: “We’re now looking at and reporting on our business as two different segments – one for our family of apps, and one for our work on future platforms. And as part of this, it is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do, to reflect who we are and what we hope to build.”
Take a look at a brief rundown of the Meta rebranding, per CNET, below:
The rebranding comes after a whistleblower, Frances Haugen, testified before a US Senate hearing on how the social media site is amplifying harmful content to its users earlier this month, the latest in a long line of controversies associated with Facebook and Zuckerberg.
Over the years, Meta has expanded to establish or acquire other platforms, including Oculus VR gaming, WhatsApp and Instagram, while internally the company is also developing its own AR glasses. Much about the VR components of Meta was shown off at Connect, including a new high-end headset codenamed ‘Project Cambria’.
The company’s Oculus Quest headsets will also be rebranded as Meta Quest, with CTO Andrew Bosworth confirming that the Oculus branding will be phased out entirely. The Oculus App will become the Meta Portal, with that platform also set to absorb the Facebook Portal video device.
In a Facebook post shared by Bosworth, he said: “When people buy our products, we want them to clearly understand that all of these devices come from Meta and ladder up to our metaverse vision… While we’re retiring the name, I can assure you that the original Oculus vision remains deeply embedded in how Meta will continue to drive mass adoption for VR today.”
Well the cat’s (officially) out of the bag: Our company is now Meta to better reflect who we are and our ambitions to…
The Facebook platform itself remains unchanged, with the titular app and website set to continur under the same name it always had. The difference is that rather than stand as the company’s main focus, it will now be positioned as one of many products under a larger brand.
Facebook’s stock had taken a tumble earlier this month when a global outage affected Facebook and all its other apps, which also meant that Oculus Quest users were left unable to access their VR games.