The well-known social media platform, Facebook, has announced a name change to Meta, reflecting the company’s ever-growing goals and target group. Many say this is an interesting time for rebranding, as Facebook has recently faced extensive criticism for a lack of transparency.
The name is an abbreviation of “metaverse,” a sci-fi term associated with virtual reality, and shows the company’s future goals of working in a virtual world. Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s CEO, said that although they are seen as a social media company, their core goal is to connect people online, and the metaverse is essentially the next world they hope to conquer. Additionally, Zuckerberg hopes that the metaverse will grow in people and digital commerce, and become a source of jobs for many individuals.
The company may be trying to gain a new look and message as they have struggled recently with internal issues. Frances Haugen, a former employee, released many of the company’s documents, showing an invasion of customer privacy and a lack of transparency. These documents also proved that the company is aware of the various issues users face on the app, but has refused to rectify them. These issues are as severe as political unrest, mental health damage, and teen suicide.
After the release, not only did Zuckerberg deny the claims, but the company also came out with this rebranding. It is evident that regardless of a possible genuine desire for change, the company is also trying to avert negative attention. People are already upset over the allegations showing that the company was aware of its damaging effects, and the name change only made matters worse. Instead of sending the message that they are willing to acknowledge their mistakes and are devoted to positively impacting the lives of users, they are avoiding the issue entirely and denying all of the factual claims. Although Zuckerberg and the company wanted the name change to signify a shift in values, goals, and a different future, the new idea of Meta has only upset people and proved that the company will do anything to maintain a popular appearance. It is clear that this rebrand may have had unintended, negative consequences.