Facebook officially announced that they are rebranding its corporate name to Meta to better reflect its focus on building the meta-universe. However, its family apps such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus will be keeping their current names following the transition. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg made the announcement yesterday at the company’s virtual Connect Conference.
Marketers are not likely to see any immediate changes or differences in terms of how the company operates its advertising business. The main focus of this rebranding is not to change the social media brand that many global citizens are familiar with. Rather, to change the name to better encompass all of the services they offer.
What is the metaverse?
Zuckerberg explained that the metaverse is the next generation of the mobile internet. Today, video is the primary way we view digital content but the metaverse is looking to take that one step forward. Its goal is to formulate digital content into a new immersive experience. Instead of having a device being the focal point of your attention, the metaverse will allow you to experience everything like you’re actually present in the moment. A true representation of an embodied internet. The metaverse is intended to be built around people and how they experience and interact with the physical world. The participants create the virtual world they want to see and ultimately develop a metaverse economy. These are a few of the developments that Zuckerberg introduced to serve as a vehicle to form the immersive experience.
Quest’s next generation of VR/AR gaming
The CEO explained that gaming is how most people are going to be introduced into the metaverse experience. Gaming provides the most immersive experience in terms of entertainment and is the perfect vehicle to bring to life the virtual world. Quest is working on a multitude of games that are both available now and only in the metaverse for people to enjoy. The company is utilizing both virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) to build the gaming ecosystem so that other game designers and developers can contribute their creations as well. Quest is also integrating fitness into the ecosystem to form the next generation of virtual fitness. A fitness accessory pack will be released next year to accommodate the more physically demanding activities.
Messenger VR allows users to virtually communicate with others in what feels like real life. It will no longer feel like you are talking to someone through a screen.
Spark AR is what’s going to bring physical objects in the world around us into the 3D metaverse.
Horizon is how individuals are going to interact with the metaverse. Within Horizon will be a few expansions that will allow you to utilize the metaverse to fit into your everyday life. Horizon Home will be the introduction of the virtual experience, allowing you to integrate your home space – along with some awesome only-virtually-possible upgrades – that will also allow you to be able to socialize with others all over the globe. Horizon Workroom gives work professionals a fully immersive office experience while still remaining in their remote location. The space will even have integrated 2-dimensional progressive web apps like dropbox and slack and customizable office spaces to mimic a true office environment. Horizon Worlds allows you to create an avatar that allows you to socially interact and transport to anywhere in the universe. The platform will contain both physically everyday spaces and exclusively virtual ones.
eCommerce in the metaverse
Companies will be able to see and design products to be sold in the metaverse. This is one of the main features that is going to build and maintain the meta economy.
Addressing the elephant in the room
While Zuckerberg presented the metaverse virtual experiences at yesterday’s conference, there was conveniently no direct mention of the powerhouse social media site. Ever since Facebook’s first big issue with advertising privacy in 2007, we have all publicly watched Facebook tarnish its legacy as a social platform. The rebranding is partially serving as a way to distance itself from all the negativity surrounding the platform, especially the negative press congressional hearing stemming from the recent whistleblower.
“It’s the next chapter for our company,” Zuckerberg said. “Today, we are seen as a social media company. The metaverse is the next frontier.”
Only time will tell if Facebook will be able to successfully transition into Meta. Changing the brand’s identity is one thing, but many are speculating if the company will be able to pull off the structural change. Zuckerburg explained that the long-term goal of the metaverse is to have it be the successor of the mobile internet. Those are some big shoes to fill, so we will all be patiently waiting to see what happens next.