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Facebook To Meta: Tracking The Expansion Of The Mark Zuckerberg 'Metaverse'

Internet giant Facebook has been rebranded to Meta. Will any changes be seen on the platforms? How far has facebook travelled since 2004? What are the reasons of this rebranding?

Facebook To Meta: Tracking The Expansion Of The Mark Zuckerberg 'Metaverse'

Facebook has officially announced the name for its parent entity that owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus. Facebook Chief Executive Officer, Mark Zuckerberg, at the Facebook Connect event, announced that the holding company will be called 'Meta'.

No structural change is noted for Facebook or any other existing platform. Zuckerberg said, “to reflect who we are and what we hope to build, I am proud to announce that starting today, our company is now Meta. Our mission remains the same — it’s still about bringing people together. Our apps and our brands — they’re not changing either.”

The official account of Meta tweeted a 3D animated logo and welcomed users to "the next chapter of social connection,"

What is Metaverse?

Metaverse will be a place people will be able to interact, work and create products and content in what he hopes will be a new ecosystem that creates millions of jobs for creators. Zuckerberg says he expects the metaverse to reach a billion people within the next decade.

While explaining the rebrand, Zuckerberg said the name “Facebook” just doesn't encompass everything the company does anymore. The company Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, its Quest VR headset, its Horizon VR platform and more.

“Today we are seen as a social media company,” Zuckerberg said. “But in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people.”

Facebook, the app, along with Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, are here to stay; the company's corporate structure also won't change. But on Dec 1, its shares will start trading under a new ticker symbol, “MVRS” on NASDAQ.

Facebook Has Come A Long Way - The Facebook - Facebook - Meta

Facebook was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with his Harvard College roommates and was named 'The Facebook'. It was initially open to Harvard university students but was then extended all the Ivy Leagues and eventually to everyone.

Beginning with a couple thousand users, Facebook claimed 2.8 billion active monthly users in 2020. On its way, Facebook kept on diversifying and acquiring other companies.

In May 2012, Facebook launched its IPO at a price of $37 and the amount raised was the third-largest ever in US history back then. Earlier that year, it also bought Instagram, a social networking application that has tremendously grown in the past 5 years.

In 2014, messaging application WhatsApp was bought by Facebook for $16 Billion in its largest-ever acquisition. A price of about $55 was paid per user.

Undertaking tens of subsidiaries over time, including Virtual Reality headset company Oculus, Facebook became the biggest shark of the internet industry.

Controversies have also followed Facebook since its inception. Most recently a whistleblower complained of Facebook not prioritising its business over curbing the spread of hate and misinformation on the platform.

Now that Facebook holds a plethora of entities under it, it has seen a rebranding of its parent company and has come up with a new name, "Meta." 

Is The Name Change Done To Save Face?

Some of Facebook's biggest critics seemed unimpressed. The Real Facebook Oversight Board, a watchdog group focused on the company, announced that it will keep its own name.

“Changing their name doesn't change reality: Facebook is destroying our democracy and is the world's leading peddler of disinformation and hate," the group said in a statement. "Their meaningless name change should not distract from the investigation, regulation and real, independent oversight needed to hold Facebook accountable.”

While largely dismissing revelations from the Facebook Papers as unfair criticism, Zuckerberg has focused on building a virtual environment you can go inside of instead of just looking at on a screen.

Just as smartphones replaced desktop computers, Zuckerberg is betting that the metaverse will be the next way people will interact with computers — and each other. If Instagram and messaging were Facebook's forays into the mobile evolution, Meta is its bet on the metaverse. And what's better than a name change to show how serious he is.