To everyone’s very surprise, On 28th Oct, Thursday, Facebook Inc announced that it will be rebranding the name of its parent company to “Meta”. Facebook has ruled the social media platform for over a decade now. It has become a name so common in nearly every household of the world that as soon as someone says Facebook, the image of Facebook feed scrolling down instantly pops up in our head. The word meta in Greek means ‘beyond’. Thus, the new symbol truly represents the essence of its rebranding. The former blue-colored thumbs-up logo will also be replaced by a blue-colored “M” that looks like infinity.
Vision of the Meta
This change mainly concentrates on the idea of metaverse- creating a shared virtual environment. This will be done by the seamless integration of digital and real worlds driven by technology such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). The bets are that this could be a successor to the present mobile internet. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg emphasized that this change will distinctly reflect the fact that the company isn’t just a social media platform but a lot more with its different offerings. It will harbor an ecosystem that will generate millions of job opportunities for content creators.
Heading towards metaverse
When looked closely this change isn’t a spontaneous one. This seems like the final draft of a project spanned over the past seven years. Facebook has extensively invested in a lot of VR and AR companies starting with Oculus in 2014. It established its dominance in the VR market, hired many VR and AR developers, had dozens of corporate acquisitions, and did a lot of research. It looks like they were planning this transformation for a very long time now.
Is it Facebook’s quest to rule the metaverse?
Beyond Oculus, Facebook has invested in Facebook reality labs, where their employees work on the metaverse computing platform. It has also invested in projects like Project Aria, which aims at designing 3D maps of public spaces. It also worked on releasing Ray-Ban stories sunglasses with a 5 MP camera and voice control features. Besides these, FB also launched its Responsible Innovation Principles intending to “build the metaverse responsibly”. All these investments, however lucrative they may seem, might be an attempt for owning charge over the next frontier of computing. Here, it is difficult to shake off the ethical question that could it be the first step towards creating an exploitative, corporatized, and hierarchical virtual space.
CEO’s take on Meta Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg said that the next platform would be even more immersive with an embodied internet. Here the person would be in the experience instead of just looking at it. He called this a ‘metaverse’. Zuckerberg believes that since their brand is so tightly linked to one product that it’s not possible to represent everything they are doing in the present. Let alone the future. In his opinion, it is time to rebrand to an even more inclusive one that could encompass what they do, shows what they are, and define what they hope to build.