Embattled Facebook The new handle comes as the social media giant tries to fend off one of its worst crises yet and pivot to its ambitions for the metaverse virtual reality version of the internet that the tech giant sees as the future. Facebook, Instagram and Whats App will keep their names under the rebranding. We’ve learned a lot from struggling with social issues and living under closed platforms, and now it is time to take everything that we’ve learned and help build the next chapter, Zuckerberg said during an annual developers conference. I am proud to announce that starting today, our company is now Meta. Our mission remains the same, still about bringing people together, our apps and their brands, they’re not changing, he added.
The social media giant has been battling a fresh crisis since former employee Frances Haugen leaked reams of internal studies showing executives knew of their sites’ potential for harm, prompting a renewed US push for regulation.
Google rebranded itself as Alphabet in a corporate reconfiguration in 2015, but the online search and ad powerhouse remains its defining unit despite other operations such as Waymo self-driving cars and Verily life sciences. The company refused to comment on rumor or speculation, of course, but the Twitterati had no problem.
The debate careered from sensible to screwball to strange. “Meta” was one of the more sober trending suggestions, referring to Facebook’s reported desire to assume a name that focuses on the metaverse, a virtual environment where users can hang out. Bookface, Facegram, Facetagram, FreeFace, FreeTalk, World Changer. On the wilder side, Twitter user Dave Pell drew a comparison with musician Kanye West who recently changed his name to “Ye”. “It would be awesome if Facebook changes its name to Ye,” he said.
“The Old People’s App because that’s what us younger people call it,” college student Vittoria Esteves told Reuters in Rome.
“Boomerville”, suggested Marco, referring to so-called baby boomers born in the years following World War II.
Many suggestions however reflected the public’s concern about how the company handles user safety and hate speech. Internal documents leaked by a whistleblower formed the basis for a US Senate hearing last week.
“So they’re going to try and change it, and then that’s just going to put the spotlight on the fact that they’re changing it. Why are they changing this?” he added. “So it’s probably going to spit back in their face at some point.”