- Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company which owns Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram will be rebranded as Meta Incorporated.
- According to the CEO, this move comes due to his vision of the development of a Metaverse in the future.
- Greater details about the goals of the rebrand remain unknown however Zuckerberg promises mainly exciting products and services which will integrate virtual reality with daily life.
Meta is now the parent company that owns Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram. The rebrand to Meta was announced by Zuckerberg at the company’s annual Connect conference. However, plans for the same had been a secret affair for a long time ever since he formally kicked off the project just over six months ago.
Zuckerberg announced that the technology giant will be changing its name from Facebook to Meta to avoid the confusion and awkwardness of sharing the name of its main app. He said he had been thinking about rebranding the company ever since he bought Instagram and WhatsApp, in 2012 and 2014, but earlier this year he realized that it was time to make the change.
The name change in actuality is a statement by the CEO to cement the fact that his company is all about the metaverse- which he thinks is the future of the internet. Zuckerberg sees this as baby steps in the direction of turning his company’s reputation from merely the social platform of Facebook to the giant possibilities of the metaverse. Zuckerberg had already started investing in his new idea for the company. In this year itself, he invested approximately 10 billion dollars into building a metaverse.
What is Metaverse?
Metaverse is an expansive and immersive version of the internet taken from the pages of Sci-fi novels like Snow Crash and Ready Player One. The term rose to prominence somewhere around the 2010s and had consecutively come under heavy criticism as it was seen as a cut-paste version of an overhyped technology based on the existing one.
Metaverse is essentially a future version of the internet made of shared virtuality. This platform will often act as a form of social media. It can also be used as an umbrella term for the entire world of augmented reality, that is not simply limited to just the virtual worlds of various social media platforms.
The elements of the metaverse cover a huge domain. This very fact makes this concept so different from the internet or the idea of the web as we know it today. It includes video conferencing games like Minecraft or Roblox, emails, virtual reality, live streaming, and social media. This ever-expanding cyberspace indicates a “digital big bang”.
The first traces of the Metaverse could be as early as the 1990s the metaverse was a moo (a text-based, low-bandwidth virtual reality system) operated by Steve Jackson games as part of their bbs, Illuminati online. In the year 1998 – there.com was created, wherein users appeared as avatars and could socialize and purchase objects and services using the virtual currency their bucks, which were purchasable with real-world money. there.com closed on March 2, 2010, but reappeared in 2011 as an invite-only world to users age 18 or older.
The most significant step towards the path to metaverse was probably in the year 2019 when Facebook launched Facebook Horizon – A social VR world by Facebook. Horizon Worlds is a virtual reality, a multiplayer online video game with an integrated game creation system developed by Facebook now known as Meta Incorporated. It’s currently available for platforms like Microsoft Windows and Oculus Quest. Horizon Worlds is currently in an invite-only beta phase which uses the Unity engine.
The future for Meta Incorporated
Over the past few weeks, Facebook has been hit with a nonstop barrage of criticism and bad luck. First came the global outage which halted business and communication for several hours owing to failure in the backup servers of the company. Then there were leaked internal documents provided to the media by a former employee and whistleblower named Frances Haugen. She testified in the US Senate regarding Facebook’s inherent role in spreading hate speech and violence. She also spoke about how Facebook endangers democracy and is unsuited for use by children. Hence the company is bearing the brunt of worldwide scrutiny, and its brand has soured in the eyes of young people. To many critics, the rebrand to Meta incorporated seems to be an evasion technique on Zuckerberg’s part.
Unlike many founders of top platforms before him, Mark Zuckerberg has said he has no intentions of stepping down as CEO of the newly born Meta Incorporated. A famous example is the founders of Google who stepped aside in 2015 when it became part of a holding company called Alphabet. Zuckerberg however has been in charge for 17 years and has no plans of retiring any time soon.
According to Zuckerberg, the massive change from Facebook to Meta is about recognizing a shift inside the company that’s already taken place. If rumors are to be believed the company plans to introduce a unified account system to span all of the company’s social apps. This includes the Oculus Quest headset, Portal, and future devices. That means you won’t need a Facebook account to use the Quest.
In his interview, Zuckerberg says that Meta will play a pretty important role for crypto technology like NFTs and smart contracts in the metaverse. Next year, the company plans to introduce Project Cambria, a high-end, mixed reality headset revealed at the Connect conference. This headset will have the ability to mix virtual graphics with the real world in full color. It will have face and eye tracking to allow for more realistic avatars.
Also in the future goals and works is a pair of AR glasses called Nazaré. While they are still several years away in development, Zuckerberg believes they have the potential to be as widely used as mobile phones are today. Nazaré will look like a normal pair of glasses with display screens capable of overlaying and computing onto the world around you. With that being said it’ll be a more potent VR headset however one which does not take you away from the real world but introduces technology more powerfully in everyday life.
Currently, more details about the rebrand are not revealed and It’s unclear if this rebrand to Meta will achieve what Zuckerberg is aiming for, but there’s no question that it’s a bold move.