Do you think it'll be a good idea if Facebook changes its corporate name? It's odd.
According to The Verge, Facebook will announce a name change next week that will reflect the company's all-encompassing effort on adapting to the metaverse concept. The upcoming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to discuss at the company's annual Connect conference on October 28th, is designed to symbolize the internet giant's desire to be known for something other than social media and all of its associated problems. The makeover would most likely present the blue Facebook app as one of many products managed by a parent business that oversees Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and other companies.
It's hardly unheard of; Google, for example, changed its parent company to Alphabet in 2015. But it seems a little strange for Facebook, a well-known, ubiquitous platform with such a significant market presence, to switch to something else, aligned with the metaverse notion, of which no one knows what it will be just yet. Google is, of course, a household name and a word in and of itself, and that hasn't altered under the Alphabet umbrella. There may also be other corporate factors for such a shift that the general public is unaware of. But I can't envision Zuckerberg's social media behemoth under a different moniker.
Zuckerberg has already hinted at his desire to adopt Facebook for the metaverse, later stating that he sees Facebook as a "metaverse company". The metaverse touches on many of the significant issues that Facebook is addressing. Consider community and creators as one example, digital commerce as another, or developing the next generation of computing platforms, such as virtual and augmented reality, to provide individuals with a sense of presence. All of the numerous efforts that Facebook has today, according to Zuckerberg, will ladder up together to help develop this metaverse vision.
This is arguably the most unambiguous indication of the logic behind a name change, as a new, metaverse-aligned brand would serve as a more extensive umbrella for all of Facebook's various projects, of which Facebook is today only one component. It makes sense from that standpoint, and even if you don't have a clear idea of what the metaverse will be like and how Facebook will play a role in it, you can see how a more significant title that encompasses these elements might be a better fit for the company's future.
Bloomberg reports that Zuckerberg's charity organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, already owns the domains meta.com and meta.org in terms of possible new names. As a result, some have speculated that the new umbrella label for Facebook's business activities will be 'Meta.' As many have pointed out, this leads to the roots of the term metaverse,' which science fiction author Neal Stephenson coined in his 1992 novel 'Snow Crash.' The metaverse in that narrative alludes to a digital area controlled by a ruling organization that governs how people interact in virtual reality.
In principle, Facebook aspires to be that corporation, but Stephenson's metaverse's governing corporate presence isn't precisely a benign or humane concept. The portrayal is of a merciless giant driven by money and power, which is perhaps not the best corporate persona to adopt in the actual world. But, based on rumors, that appears to be where Facebook is headed. But, on the other hand, I can't help but think that this isn't true, that this isn't a fundamental change that Facebook is considering, and that this may be a large-scale fake for another reason.
What might that goal possibly be? What if Facebook has had enough of the continual leaks from its internal meetings and announcements, which have resulted in things like the recent 'Facebook Files' exposé, which is expected to trigger off a fresh round of expensive legal challenges for the firm, as well as a barrage of negative press? What if Facebook was enlisting the help of Slugworth the leakers, telling a made-up narrative about a corporate name change to a small group to see whether it made it to the press? That also sounds a little far-fetched to be accurate, but perhaps Facebook is simply trying to sort out the leaks rather than making a name change.
Both options are equally conceivable, at least for the time being, based solely on their radical nature; however, the evidence does appear to point to a meta-aligned title upgrade to better reflect the company's expanding economic interests.
We'll find out soon enough – Facebook has so far refused to comment on the rumors.