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Facebook changes to (Meta) Metaverse to refocus on Virtual Reality: All you need to know.

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Kazeem Razaq @krazaq / 10.00 AM EDT. November 11, 2021.

facebook changes to Meta

Facebook has changed it's name to Meta, which was announced to the public on October 29th, 2021.

At the Facebook Connect augmented and virtual reality conference, the name change was announced. The company's expanding goals beyond social media is reflected in the new name. Facebook's new moniker, Meta, is based on the sci-fi phrase metaverse, and it describes the company's ambition for working and playing in a virtual world.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the new name reflected the company's work investing in the metaverse, rather than its original social media site, which will continue to be called Facebook, during a live-streamed virtual and augmented reality conference.

"Today, we are known as a social media giant, but our DNA is an organization that produces technology to link people, and the metaverse is the next frontier, just as social networking was when we first started," Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated.

The name change comes as Facebook faces criticism from lawmakers and authorities over its market power, algorithmic judgments, and monitoring of abuses on its platform.

Mark Zukerberg, Facebook CEO

What is the Metaverse, and what does it entail?

The word "metaverse" was invented three decades ago in the dystopian novel "Snow Crash" and is currently causing a stir in Silicon Valley. It corresponds to the concept of a shared virtual universe that may be accessed by several devices.

The metaverse is presently thought of as a futuristic social hub, a place where avatars can interact, and a networked app ecosystem. A virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) dream of bringing people into some sort of virtual realm as creative as Minecraft, as popular as Fortnite, and as practical as Zoom, Slack, and Google Docs.

Metaverses are perhaps the clearest acknowledgement yet that the future of technology isn't simply VR or AR, but a combination of multiple devices accessing a shared online reality that might be more immersive and 3D than the internet you're using right now to read this article.

What does Facebook think of the metaverse?

The metaverse, according to Zuckerberg, is the next step in social networking, moving beyond static user profiles that only allow users to submit comments and photographs. Wearing virtual reality headsets or augmented reality glasses that superimpose the digital domain over the physical world would be required to get there. Cutting-edge projection technology may potentially be used to transmit lifelike holograms into the actual world.

A metaverse is a place where highly social future events take place. The majority of metaverses under consideration are massively multiplayer places with avatars and planets, as well as persistent players or creative tools. Horizon, Facebook's forthcoming social platform, is a good example of this: The avatar-based software will be available in VR, but Facebook also plans to make it available in AR and on ordinary desktops and phones. This is already the case with Microsoft's AltspaceVR. Right now, VR is a lot of things, but it's not very social because most people don't have VR headsets.

Companies are having difficulty finding technologies that connect all of the other phone and computer experiences with VR and AR ecosystems. Microsoft has been working on this for years but has yet to find a solution.

Technology is recognizing that not everyone will be interested in virtual reality (or AR)

In addition to the Hololens, Microsoft has recently pushed for AR that works on phones. Apple is focusing on augmented reality on iPhones and iPads, while Facebook is merging Oculus with its non-VR social programs. A common thread can easily be seen here. You'll never be able to get everyone to use a virtual reality headset. Alternatively, augmented reality smart eyewear. Not everyone will wear a smartwatch, AirPods, or play a Nintendo Switch.

Facebook AR/VR Metaverse

What is Facebook's motivation behind this?

At the very least, this glitzy initiative diverts attention away from Facebook's never-ending stream of negative publicity. For years, the social media behemoth has been chastised for facilitating the spread of misinformation and for its ambiguous data privacy policies. After a whistleblower exposed several of the company's secrets, things have only become worse in recent months.

At the same time, younger people are abandoning social sites. Many people are instead gravitating to TikTok, a Chinese-owned video app. Facebook makes money by selling marketers customized ads. However, when the number of users drops, so does advertising revenue.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, revealed the new name alongside ambitions to create a "metaverse," an online world where people may game, work, and chat in a virtual environment, frequently utilizing virtual reality goggles. He claimed that the current brand couldn't "reasonably represent everything that we're doing today, let alone in the future," and that it needed to be updated.


"I hope that we're seen as a metaverse firm over time," he said during a virtual conference. "I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we're building toward."

"We're now looking at and reporting on our company as two distinct parts, one for our app family and the other for our efforts on future platforms. As a result, it's past time for us to create a new corporate identity that encompasses all we do, reflects who we are, and reflects what we aim to achieve."

On Thursday, the firm replaced its thumbs-up "Like" emblem with a blue infinity shape at its offices in Menlo Park, California. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that the new name symbolizes the fact that consumers would eventually be able to utilize the company's other services without having to use Facebook.

Finally, entering the unknown domain of the metaverse presents significant problems. According to Facebook, at least 12 big technology breakthroughs are required to succeed. It's possible that the entire movement will implode. However, in terms of the market, it's still a regulatory Wild West, similar to the early days of the internet and social media, and adventurous tech companies see a chance to profit before regulators catch up.


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