It may sound like an attempt to change the way people think about Facebook, but the company’s name change to “Meta” is reportedly about being bigger than one thing.
There’s news everywhere about Facebook changing its name, but log into Facebook today and you won’t see any sight of it affecting how you use the platform, if you do at all.
Even though there’s big news running across every major masthead about a name change, it may not affect its signature app. Rather, it seems to be about the company itself, which holds more than just that big social network so many around the world rely on.
There’s Facebook itself, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Portal, Oculus, and the Facebook View platform that works on Ray-Ban’s smart glasses, and those are just the popular consumer-facing ones, with plenty of others behind it all. Many of the Facebook products have the name “Facebook” at the front, a signal that the social network started it all and was named that to begin with, but that is changing this week, possibly to escape some of the major scrutiny the service has been getting.
This week, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company would transition to the name “Meta” to encompass more than just the one platform, covering online social experiences that could extend beyond the basic idea of Facebook.
However while Facebook is now apparently “Meta”, it may not affect the services you use. It’s unlikely that the name change will make its way to Facebook the service, moreso Facebook the company, and so when you log in to Facebook in the near future — today, even — Facebook will still show up as “Facebook”, at least from what we’ve seen, with that service now belonging to Meta, much like how Google sits as part of one of the Alphabet companies and products established by Google.
And it’s one that
“The metaverse is the next evolution in online social technology and will help us connect in ways not yet possible today,” said Will Easton, Managing Director for Meta in Australia and New Zealand.
“Facebook isn’t going to build, own or run the metaverse on its own, we will be collaborating at every stage with policymakers, experts and industry partners,” he said.
“There are already a wealth of Australian companies and creators working in this space, including fashion designers, gaming and VR experience creators, academics and marketers experimenting with new immersive formats. Australia has an opportunity to be on the forefront of this technology even at this early stage of its development.”
So what does this mean for you?
Right now, probably not much. You can expect people to keep thinking of Facebook as Facebook for the moment, even though the company has changed its name, and it’s unlikely it’ll change how you use Meta’s apps and services, namely Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and the obvious one, Facebook.
But it does mean that when Facebook is in the news about something, the fallout may affect the “Meta” name more, and not tarnish the name of “Facebook” specifically, which may also have been a factor in changing names at this point in the game.