Last week’s speculation on Facebook’s potential rebrand has been confirmed. During the Connect augmented and virtual reality conference on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media giant changed its company name to Meta.
Zuckerberg clarified that the name change won’t affect its individual platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, and just the parent company that owns them. He said in a statement, ‘From now on, we will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first. That means that over time you won’t need a Facebook account to use our other services.’
The 37-year-old founder also explained that the metaverse is an online world that provides a space for people to hang, work, and learn. It’s accessible through a VR device that offers users an immersive experience. He said, ‘Over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.’
Zuckerberg pointed out that he started Facebook at a time where people mostly typed text on websites, but things changed when phones got cameras and everything became more visual. Videos have become a better way of sharing experiences and this prompted him to build the new platform, ‘The defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence — like you are right there with another person or in another place.’
It’s a bold announcement to make, especially when the move shortly follows after the company’s recent outage and news about Facebook whistleblowers who revealed a range of problems with its products. Meanwhile, users online a.k.a. potential people who might eventually use the metaverse shared their initial thoughts on the new platform and name change.
Some were reminded of the film Ready Player One because of its virtual reality-related premise that’s a bit similar to what the metaverse is offering. While Zuckerberg posted a video showing what the immersive world would look like, another user joked that it might just appear like a low-quality CGI like The Lawnmower Man.
Wondering if Meta is attempting to steer society in the direction of ‘Ready Player One’ type of existence and experience?!🤔 pic.twitter.com/zr6RGqcG7M
— Charli Huxley (@ImKnotTheOne) October 28, 2021
Meta get that this is not one Ready Player One experience but an interooperable world. You or I might not trust Meta but in this new world we can just take our stuff and go to a digital society that treats us in the way we wish. Much like the internet now but we retain the value.
— Raoul Pal (@RaoulGMI) October 29, 2021
#Meta is short form for Metaverse which is gonna be a 3D immersive environment.
If you have watched the movie Ready Player one, that’s an example.
In the future, people will spend Crypto & hang NFTs on the walls of their virtual homes.
Scary and Exciting times we are living!
— Tayo Aina (@tayoainafilms) October 28, 2021
Ready player one is happening
The bad guy is called Meta
— Simon Taylor (@sytaylor) October 28, 2021
Everyone is making Ready Player One jokes at Meta’s expense but it’s really just going to look like The Lawnmower Man fucked a Reddit thread. pic.twitter.com/lkMw6TW0DA
— Kurkthulu: Internet Trash Magician (@Kurkthulu) October 29, 2021
"Ever since I Meta girl like you ,I'll never switch up like Facebook" pic.twitter.com/wDZuO7as1n
— chun swae. (@girl_kaybee) October 28, 2021
Facebook is changing its name to Meta. They should have just stopped at Meh pic.twitter.com/LniWs5wqOn
— Rex the TV terrier (@rexthetvterrier) October 28, 2021
Banner: (L) Ready Player One | (R) Chris Delmas, Agence France-Presse