Facebook, which was established on February 4, 2004, has officially entered the next stage: the former thumb logo has been removed and replaced by a new logo similar to “infinity” and a new name Meta.CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “I believe that Metaverse will be the next important chapter of the Internet. To reflect who we are and what we want to build, we decided to reshape our brand. Over time , I hope that in the future we will no longer be just a social platform, but will be regarded as a meta-universe company.”
Although the name change shows Zuckerberg’s optimistic view of this future and the company’s all-in metaverse attitude, how does the media view it? The “Washington Post” wrote an article earlier on an important reason for Meta’s hype metaverse: countermeasures against the US government’s anti-monopoly pressure and strategies to change the people’s negative mental positioning.
Now, CNBC has written an article analyzing Facebook’s motives for changing its name to Meta, and attributed it to the negative impact of Facebook’s “brand tax”. The following is the specific arrangement of Yingwei.com:
1. Facebook and other apps are deeply mired in the negative impact of brand tax
Renamed Facebook to Meta, the social network giant obviously hopes to get rid of what employees call the “brand tax” and reduce the negative impact of the name Facebook on Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp and other applications and services.
A large number of internal documents disclosed earlier showed that Facebook was aware of the harm caused by its own products, but refused to solve the problem. The impact of Facebook’s “brand tax” can be traced back to the 2016 US presidential election. At the time, this social platform became a safe haven and synonymous with hateful content and misinformation.
According to people familiar with the matter, Facebook and other services, especially Instagram and Messenger, have been trying to distance themselves from the embarrassing mental positioning of the parent company for the past five years.
However, maintaining this distance has become particularly difficult in 2019, because Facebook announced that it will add the Facebook tag to the end of all its services. In other words, Messenger has become Messenger from Facebook, Instagram has become Instagram from Facebook, WhatsAp has become WhatsApp from Facebook, and Oculus, Facebook’s virtual reality subsidiary, also added the “from Facebook” tag.
Facebook said at the time that this change was designed to provide users with clear instructions. Facebook stated in a press release on November 4, 2019: “The name change is a better way to communicate our ownership structure to users and businesses that use our services.”
But according to people familiar with the matter, Facebook is not privately worried about any confusion this may cause to consumers. On the contrary, after experiencing a series of public relations setbacks, especially after the Cambridge company’s data abuse scandal in 2018, the company put more energy on restoring the influence of the Facebook brand, so the management decided to make its apps and services all Add the “from Facebook” tag to increase the popularity of the Facebook brand.
At the time, Facebook’s eponymous application was in a low state. According to former employees, Zuckerberg decided to consolidate the brand image, and he thought it would be helpful to link Facebook with other more comprehensive services.
People familiar with the matter pointed out that employees have suggested that Zuckerberg follow Google’s approach instead of adding the “from Facebook” tag. As an illustration, Google reorganized and created Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in 2015.
In fact, Zuckerberg’s choice to add the “from Facebook” tag was not based on any data. A former executive said that the research he showed to Zuckerberg showed that linking any of the company’s products to Facebook will lead to a decline in trust.
Another employee said that this can be seen from Facebook’s research on the release of the video call device Portal in 2018. Relevant data shows that adding Facebook’s name will reduce public trust. But even so, Zuckerberg still decided to adopt the name Facebook Portal.
When asked about this question, a spokesperson reiterated the statement of the company’s chief marketing officer Alex Schultz: “We launched a new brand strategy in 2019 to integrate all of our Products are linked. But over time, it became clear that sharing the name Facebook can cause confusion, not only confusing users who use products such as WhatsApp or Instagram, but also confusing our supporters. Prompted us to change our name The important reason is to help everyone clearly understand the difference between the company and the Facebook application.”
2. Instagram hurts the most
Instagram is one of the services hit hardest by the name change in 2019. The main users of this photo app are young people, and they have long held a negative view of Facebook. In the eyes of young people, the “Blue F” named Facebook is a place for parents and relatives to share stories and comments.
Instagram marketing staff began to see in the quarterly brand tracking results that the “from Facebook” label is causing harm to the brand. A former Instagram employee pointed out that they tried to suggest that the font “from Facebook” be smaller or change the color, or even not use it at all. But all suggestions were rejected.
A former executive recalled that Zuckerberg insisted that since the acquisition of Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, Facebook has helped the brand achieve amazing success, and now is the time for Instagram to repay the company. Therefore, Zuckerberg’s KPI requirement for Instagram marketers is: the degree of brand bundling between Instagram and Facebook. This was ordered by Zuckerberg himself, and there is no room for negotiation.
In contrast, Messenger has obtained permission to keep a certain distance. Unlike Instagram, Oculus, and WhatsApp, which were acquired by Facebook, Messenger is a direct line of Facebook. Facebook turned WhatsApp into a standalone application in 2014. Two former employees said that in order to attract young users, Messenger got Zuckerberg’s permission a year ago to take measures to improve its brand image.
Therefore, Messenger launched a brand new logo last year with gradient colors. This is one of the efforts made by the Messenger team to compete with Douyin for “Millennials” and “Generation Z” users.
3. Delete Facebook
Although the name Meta does not guarantee that Facebook’s “brand tax” will dissipate immediately, at least Zuckerberg has changed his stubborn views.
Now, the company has begun to rename multiple business groups. Among them, Facebook Reality Labs is now Reality Labs, and Facebook Financial has become Novi.
After ex-employee “Whistleblower” Frances Haugen (Frances Haugen) leaked a large number of internal documents, as well as other media published numerous reports, Zuckerberg’s attitude still seems to be arrogant. For example, this company knows that Instagram is very arrogant. The mental health of teenagers is harmful, but almost no measures have been taken.
Zuckerberg said in an earlier earnings conference: “What we saw is that someone selectively used leaked documents to discredit our company.”
Some disclosure documents show that since 2019, the number of teenage users of the Facebook app in the United States has fallen by 13%, and is expected to drop by 45% in the next two years. Facebook researchers also found that it is expected that people born after 2000 will not join the social platform before the age of 24 or 25, especially if they have used the service.
Facebook mentioned this issue in its latest earnings report. Zuckerberg said the company will work hard to increase the attractiveness of all its services to young people, but acknowledged that “this transition will take several years.” However, getting rid of the Facebook brand will be its first big step.