Not only showing a new direction, changing the parent company’s name to Meta can ease the pressure on Mark Zuckerberg in the face of recent scandals.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about our identity… Over time, hopefully we’ll be seen as a metaverse,” Mark Zuckerberg said when announcing the company’s name change. Facebook to Meta in the Connect 2021 event, taking place at 0:00 on October 29 (Vietnam time).
With the new name, Zuckerberg said the company’s focus will go beyond social networking. Last night’s event focused on Horizon, a “virtual universe” that allows users to work and meet friends in many different spaces. Zuckerberg said the virtual universe could become an important social platform, with many tech companies joining in, over the next 10 years.
After the new name, the company still needs a lot of time to build the virtual universe. However, changing the name at this time may bring other benefits, especially when Facebook faces a series of scandals related to censorship of dirty content, affecting the mental health of some users.
“For formality only”
Mike Isaac’s pen from New York Times said changing Facebook’s company name to Meta was largely a formality. In addition to trading on the stock exchange with the new token from December 1, some Oculus-branded virtual reality devices will also convert to Meta.
When Facebook was caught in a scandal, many lawmakers called for the separation and change of the company’s leadership. However, despite owning a new name, Meta still operates with the old structure, Zuckerberg continues to hold the position of CEO, holding the highest power at the company.
Mark Zuckerberg announced the change of the name of parent company Facebook to Meta. Photo: New York Times.
“Whatever Mark Zuckerberg calls (the company), it will still be Zuckerberg Inc. until he relinquishes some power and moves to functional corporate governance,” shared Jennifer Grygiel, associate professor and social media researcher at Syracuse University (New York, USA).
Being The Verge Asked about the possibility of being CEO of Meta in the next 5 years, Zuckerberg said it was possible.
“I don’t have an exact timeline on how long I’ll be on this job. I can only say that I’m excited about the next chapter of the job,” Zuckerberg said.
Facebook has made a number of related moves before announcing a shift in focus to the virtual universe. In August, the company launched Horizon Workrooms, Oculus-based virtual meeting rooms that allow users to meet as if they were working in person.
In September, Facebook announced Ray-Ban augmented reality (AR) glasses that can shoot movies and take photos. Rumors about Facebook changing the company’s name also appeared a few days ago.
During last night’s event, Facebook also revealed Project Cambria, a high-end mixed reality glasses project that can combine virtual graphics with the real world, equipped with face tracking, eye movements to create. simulated images of users in a virtual universe.
Will the fallout be repeated in the virtual universe?
Many experts believe that changing the company’s name can reduce pressure on Facebook before a series of scandals affecting its reputation. Twenty years ago, Philip Morris cigarette company changed its name to Altria Group after receiving criticism for its health effects.
“Don’t forget when Phillip Morris changed its name to Altria, they were still selling cancer-causing cigarettes,” attorney Marc Elias wrote on Twitter. Countering this view, Nicholas Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global communications and policy, called the comparisons “extremely misleading.”
Experts say the virtual universe project, changing the parent company’s name to Meta can make the media less focused on the Facebook scandal. However, the company can completely make the same mistakes in the past.
Katie Harbath, CEO of policy consulting firm Anchor Change and former Director of Public Policy at Facebook, expressed concern that bad actors will destroy the company’s virtual universe, which plays out in a similar way to Facebook’s social network. or Instagram.
“During the event, I wondered who the police in the virtual universe are? The early years can be good because not many people join the virtual universe, but later on, there will be more bad actors, and the company will play catch-up when it gets there,” Harbath shared on the website. Washington Post.
According to Harbath, Facebook has a cycle of changing direction every five years when it comes to scandals. In 2012, Facebook announced its focus on mobile following the failure of its initial public offering (IPO). In 2017, the company announced its focus on community engagement after being criticized for spreading fake news related to the US presidential election.
Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager who denounced the company before the US Senate, said it was “surprised” to learn that the company had invested. 10 billion USD in 2021 for the virtual universe, while the content safety team on the platform is only supported 5 billion USD.
Exclusive, dirty content can completely appear in Facebook’s virtual universe. Photo: Getty Images.
Author Kari Paul from The Guardian also expressed concern that the virtual universe could become Facebook’s new exclusive space in the context of the company facing a scandal related to monopoly, despite trading privacy in exchange for revenue and profit.
During last night’s event, Facebook representatives repeatedly talked about privacy in the virtual universe, claiming to have considered privacy before the platform was built.
Get rid of the old shadow
Facebook isn’t the first major tech company to change its parent company’s name. In 2015, Google changed its name to Alphabet, a move that showed that the company focused not only on the search engine but also researched smart homes, self-driving cars and products for life. Snapchat also changed the name of its parent company to Snap Inc. to identify as a camera company instead of just developing a social network.
In 2007, Apple removed the word “Computer” from the name, reflecting a focus on mobile and home devices. With the name Meta, competitors and advertisers can feel the big change in the company’s key portfolio, even if the social network Facebook retains the old name.
“The transition from the original product or service to a broader identity is typical of large companies when scaling,” said Phil Davis, president of the consulting firm Tungsten Branding. determined.
Facebook isn’t the first major tech company to change its parent company’s name. Photo: Unshared News.
“At the product level, both the umbrella-brand and the parent-level brand are creating negative feelings at the moment. It’s clear that they (Facebook) want to announce a new strategic direction. to say they’re more than just Facebook,” said Patti Williams, a professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Many experts believe that Facebook’s change of the company’s name comes quite late, when over the years it has focused not only on the social network, but also on payment services and hardware. The shift in focus to the virtual universe is also tied to the hardware segment, which could cost Facebook years of investment when current revenue still largely comes from advertising on the social network.
“Although the name change represents a larger vision, that vision has yet to materialize, which will be a multi-year plan,” said Audrey Schomer, an analyst at eMarketer.
Why did Mark Zuckerberg change Facebook’s name to Meta?
When it changed its name to Meta, Facebook wanted to remove the ‘confused and grotesque’ of sharing the brand with its social networking app.