Facebook officially changed its name to Meta: What medicine does Zuckerberg sell in the gourd?
As previously reported by the media, Facebook officially changed its name today. The new name is Meta, which is the prefix of MetaVerse, which means that everything is connected. At the Connect conference held today, Facebook founder and CEO Zuckerberg announced that the company will launch the new name of Meta and announced that it will be fully committed to building the Meta universe platform.
The Connect conference was originally the annual developer conference of Facebook’s Oculus platform, but the focus of today’s conference is undoubtedly Zuckerberg’s keynote speech; he not only announced the full transformation of the meta universe in the future, but also changed the company’s name to reflect this strategic direction. This morning, when a user drove past the Facebook headquarters campus, they found that the iconic Facebook Logo billboard had been quietly changed to the logo of Metaverse. Not only did the company change its name, Facebook’s stock code was also changed from FB to MVRS (the introduction of Metaverse). In addition, Facebook also obtained the Meta.com URL and the Twitter account of @Meta.
Zuckerberg said in his keynote speech, “We are a company that builds technology to connect people. Working together, we will eventually put people at the center of technology and start a broader creator economy. (renamed Meta) is In order to reflect our positioning and the platform we want to build in the future. The current brand is too closely related to a product (the Facebook platform). But in the future we hope to be regarded as a meta-universe company.”
In this year’s keynote speech, Zuckerberg promised to build a human-centered and more responsible Metaverse platform, creating a platform that integrates the network environment, virtual reality and augmented reality. Metaverse will be the social platform of the future. It is also the successor of the mobile Internet.
Zuckerberg also showed his virtual avatar in the keynote speech, traveling through different scenes in the virtual world, interacting with many relatives and friends. “(In the metaverse) you are really dealing with people, rather than locked in a world or platform.” In addition, he also emphasized that building a metaverse is not a short-term realization, nor is Facebook a company. Completion requires the joint collaboration of technology companies in many fields and the governance of the new situation.
Video games, remote meetings, learning and fitness will be the main landing scenes of Metaverse at present. Facebook previously launched Horizon Workrooms, a remote meeting application based on the VR platform Oculus, and Zuckerberg also demonstrated experience, treating it as an exploratory application scenario in the early days of the metaverse, how to collaborate in the virtual world.
The Facebook name change is similar to Google’s 2015 reorganization. After Facebook is renamed Meta this time, the original Facebook business will become a subsidiary like Oculus, Instagram and WhatsApp. At that time, the two co-founders of Google created a holding parent company Alphabet, which listed Google and YouTube as separate subsidiaries, while many emerging businesses such as unmanned vehicles, robots, and smart homes were listed as other subsidiaries.
According to Zuckerberg’s plan, this year Facebook will separately list the financial data of the core advertising business unit and the AR/VR research and development unit Facebook Reality Labs (FRL). The purpose of this is not only to reshape the image, but also to separate the core business with excellent financial status from the emerging business that requires high continuous investment and cannot be profitable in the short term.
Separately listing the financial reports of different businesses is to clearly show investors the revenue and profitability of Facebook’s core advertising business and the investment in the future frontier technology research and development department; to avoid the high investment of FRL from dragging down the profitability of the advertising business department. When Google was reorganized into a holding company Alphabet, the main purpose was to not want unmanned vehicles, robots, life sciences, fiber optic networks and many other emerging businesses that required high investment and temporarily had no profitable prospects, which dragged down the cash of Google and YouTube. Bull business financial report.
Zuckerberg wants to follow Google’s example because he is prepared to invest heavily in Metaverse R&D. He said in a post-earnings conference call that FRL alone this year may reduce Facebook’s operating profit by $10 billion. And it is expected that more funds will be invested every year in the next few years. Due to the need to increase investment in personnel and infrastructure equipment, Facebook’s total spending next year will increase by 27 billion U.S. dollars to reach 97 billion U.S. dollars; and capital expenditures such as network infrastructure and data centers will increase by 80%. He announced that he would recruit 10,000 engineers in Europe to conduct research and development related to Metaverse.
On the other hand, it is undeniable that behind Facebook’s rebranding of Meta, there are also Zuckerberg’s ideas of rebranding and creating a new image. Because the Facebook brand has been dusted by negative news and public relations crises again and again, the public image of Facebook and Zuckerberg has fallen to the bottom. In 2001, tobacco giant Philip Morris (Philips Morris) changed its name to the lesser-known Altria because of the ongoing public relations crisis.
As a result of continuous scandals of leaking user data in the past few years, Facebook has been punished by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with a price of up to 5 billion U.S. dollars. Because of the previous soaring price acquisitions, Facebook was also subject to antitrust lawsuits by the US federal and state governments and was required to force a split. The lawsuit is currently continuing.
In the past year, Facebook has become a splint between the two factions in American society due to content control issues. A recent Facebook internal report exposed by a former employee showed that Zuckerberg and other top executives knew that the Facebook platform and algorithm might incite hatred and cause greater divisions in society, but they still chose to ignore it and put business interests above social responsibilities. US federal regulators have launched a new round of investigations into Facebook on this matter.
In addition, internal documents also show that Facebook is worried about the increase in the age of the user base, and executives are worried that Facebook has gradually lost its appeal to young people. In the past three years, the rapid growth of active users and download base of the TikTok platform has sounded a wake-up call for Facebook.