Facebook’s rebrand to Meta sounds a lot like ‘Ready Player One’

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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.

Banner: (L) Ready Player One | (R) Chris Delmas, Agence France-Presse

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