WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Facebook changed its name to Meta on Thursday, emphasizing its metaverse goal.
- Experts, however, said a rebrand can’t save it from its problems.
- Mark Zuckerberg said the company will focus on creating virtual reality products.
Facebook announced Thursday that it’s changing its corporate name to Meta, emphasizing its metaverse goal.
“From now on, we’ll be metaverse first, not Facebook first,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. “Over time, you won’t need to use Facebook to use our other services.”
However, experts believe that a name change wouldn’t make a widespread backlash disappear. The company’s main problem is “the governance of the Facebook social media platform,” Erich Joachimsthaler, founder and CEO of consulting firm Vivaldi, said in an interview.
The new brand will reflect CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of becoming a “metaverse company” instead of just a social media platform. The Facebook app will not change its name but it will under Meta, just like how Google is under the Alphabet umbrella.
The rebrand and increased focus on the metaverse are welcome distractions for Facebook after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked internal documents — known as the “Facebook Papers.” The former employee told Congress that Facebook prioritizes profits over people’s safety, and many of the internal documents appear to back up her case.
Facebook has to do the “fundamental work” and address the problems that have plagued its social service, Anne Olderog — senior partner at Vivaldi with 20 years of brand strategy experience — told Insider. If not, those same problems could seep into the metaverse.
And while the name change is exciting and creates momentum, Anne Olderog senior partner said the public “can definitely see through things like that at this stage.” Especially after past missteps that the company has weathered before.
But at the end of the day, it’s about whether the public can put its faith in Facebook and its rebrand, which can “solve a world of pain for a brand,” but only if it’s done correctly, John Weiss, co-founder and partner at the branding and communications agency, Human, told Insider.
“The biggest issue Facebook faces is a lack of consumer trust that it has a greater purpose,” Weiss said. “Simply unveiling a new brand will only serve to reinforce consumers’ fears that Facebook is only concerned about itself.”
Source: Business Insider