Facebook announced Thursday that its rebranding its parent company under the name Meta and is already being mercilessly made into memes and targeted as the butt of many jokes.
The social media behemoth’s founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook Connect augmented and virtual reality conference today that the renaming is an effort to distance Facebook from mounting scandals after a whistleblower leaked documents claiming that the platform harmed users and stoked anger.
Users on Twitter were quick to quip that the name suggests that the company is looking to steal ‘literally all’ of its users’ metadata while another made light of a bleak future where society is even more addicted to devices and social media thanks to an all-consuming ‘metaverse’.
The rename is already being mercilessly made into memes and users on Twitter were quick to quip that the name suggests the company is looking to steal ‘literally all’ of its users’ metadata
‘This all happened because Zuckerberg never meta girl until college,’ one user humorously tweeted while another suggested Meta was actually an acronym
One meme made light of a bleak future where society is even more addicted to devices and social media thanks to the all-consuming ‘metaverse’
Twitter’s safety account posted that the only Meta its going to acknowledge is its META team, which stands for Machine Learning, Ethics, Transparency and Accountability
Even Twitter’s safety account posted that the only Meta its going to acknowledge is its META team – Machine Learning, Ethics, Transparency and Accountability.
Yet Meta reportedly refers to ‘metaverse’ – Zuckerberg’s vision for the company’s transition into shared augmented reality where uses work and play in virtual world environments.
The 37-year-old billionaire has said he believes the metaverse to be the future of the internet and so the move is to presumably solidify Zuckerberg’s top position in the shift.
Plus, as CEO and chairman of Meta, Zuckerberg has officially stepped into a new job title for the first time in 17 years, according to The Verge.
Instead of being congratulated on the position Zuckerberg was the main character of a slew of memes that made fun of the name change.
‘Feta seems like an odd name,’ one user tweeted alongside a screenshot of the CEO announcing the name change at the virtual conference. Thanks to Zuckerberg’s hand gestures the user was also so fittingly able to photoshop a container of the cheese into his hands.
The rebrand meant that Zuckerberg, as CEO and chairman of Meta, officially stepped into a new job title for the first time in 17 years but instead of being congratulated on the position Zuckerberg was the main character of a slew of memes that made fun of the new name (above)
In another the letters of Meta were rearranged to read ‘meat’ as Zuckerberg seemingly held onto a raw steak while a different meme cited the fiber supplement Metamucil.
Yet another meme-maker added an ‘L’ to the company’s new name and superimposed a long-haired wig and logo onto Zuckerberg’s shirt to so fittingly transform him into a heavy metal-esque character.
But not all memes featured the social media mogul. One pictured a man beside a leaking water tank symbolic of Facebook’s waterfall of scandals in recent months, which stemmed from internal documents leaked by whistleblower Francis Haugen, who made bombshell claims that Facebook ‘puts profits over people’ by knowingly harming teenagers with its content and stoking anger among users.
The photo was captioned ‘mental health issues, data protection, Cambridge Analytica [a data firm that was embattled with the social media site for years, starting in 2014] and consumer exploitation’.
The man was then pictured placing a singular piece of tape over the leak and the caption read: ‘Renaming to “Meta,” suggesting that the rebrand is a shoddy attempt at cleaning the slate.
Other memes suggested that the rebrand is a shoddy attempt at Facebook clearing itself of recent scandals after whistleblower and former Facebook product manager Francis Haugen leaked the company’s internal documents
Even the global supermarket chain Aldi chimed in and jokingly tweeted that it was changing its name to ‘Betta’ because ‘we betta than all the rest’
The attempt to escape reality couldn’t come at a better time for the embattled brand, which will retain the social media site as Facebook but rename Facebook Inc – the parent company that also owns Instagram and WhatsApp. It will begin trading under MVRS on December 1.
Haugen, a Facebook former product manager, left the company with tens of thousands of confidential documents that she copied in secret and released to roughly two dozen news outlets.
She testified before Congress on October 5 and British Parliament on Monday, presenting findings on the harm social media caused young users. One revealed that 13.5 percent of British teenagers and six percent of American teenagers experiencing suicidal thoughts said that they traced them to Instagram.
But the rebrand has not been marketed as a type of new beginning or cover-up of any scandals for that matter. Instead, it described itself as ‘the next chapter of social connection’ and in a tweet announcing the name change Meta wrote: ‘Meta is helping build the metaverse, a place where we’ll play and connect in 3D.’
Even the global supermarket chain Aldi chimed in and jokingly tweeted that it was changing its name to ‘Betta’ because ‘we betta than all the rest’.
Twitter itself joined in on the fun and playfully tweeted: ‘Big news lol jk still Twitter.’
Twitter itself joined in on the fun and sent out a playful tweet
Many Twitter users accused the tech firm of using the name change as a way to distract from its recent scandals
‘This all happened because Zuckerberg never meta girl until college,’ one user humorously tweeted while another suggested Meta was actually an acronym for ‘Misinformation Exemplified To All’.
A Twitter user even pointed to the fact that Zuckerberg didn’t coin the term ‘metaverse’ but instead swiped it from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash. However, the book does little to define the term beyond referring to it as an alternate reality.
All jokes aside, core findings in the documents Haugen leaked were that Facebook staff have reported for years that they are concerned about the company’s failure to police hate speech – not to mention its algorithms flooded users with extremist content and conspiracy theories based on their political beliefs.
Internal messages from staff at the social media giant show that they blamed themselves for the January 6 Capitol riot after giving extremist content a platform on the site.
‘One of the darkest days in the history of democracy and self-governance. History will not judge us kindly,’ one worker said while another added: ‘We’ve been fueling this fire for a long time and we shouldn’t be surprised it’s now out of control.’
One user pointed to the fact that Zuckerberg didn’t coin the term ‘metaverse’ but instead swiped it from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash. However, the book does little to define the term beyond referring to it as an alternate reality
More tweets even joked about the company’s new logo and one quipped that Apple should also rebrand to a different fruit – the horned melon
Employees pulled down a curtain draped over its iconic ‘Like’ sign outside the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters to reveal the new branding
Whistleblower and former Facebook employee Haugen (pictured in court on Monday) left the company with tens of thousands of confidential documents that she copied in secret and released to roughly two dozen news outlets. She testified before Congress on October 5 and British Parliament on Monday and presented findings on the harm social media has caused young users
The documents, which came to be known as the Facebook Papers, also reveal that the site potentially mislead the US Securities and Exchange Commission by failing to disclose that its popularity among young users is slumping.
It’s said to have failed to explain that many of its overall users are people with more than one account on its sites, meaning the actual number of users could be up to 11 percent fewer than its figures would suggest.
One trend showed that the time spent on Facebook by US teenagers was down 16 percent from 2020 to 2021 and that young adults – between 18 and 29 – were spending five percent less time on the app.
Oddly enough, Meta reported soaring profits for the latest quarter.
The company said that its net income grew 17 percent in the July-to-September period to $9.19billion, which was reportedly buoyed by strong advertising revenue. That figure means profits are up from $7.85billion a year earlier.
Meta stock rose more than one percent in after-hours trading Tuesday and rose by more than three percent on Thursday afternoon before dropping to about 1.5 percent by 5pm.
Meta is set to trade under MVRS from December 1. The company’s stock rose more than one percent in after-hours trading Tuesday and rose by more than three percent on Thursday
Additionally third quarter revenue supposedly grew 35 percent to $29.01billion, exceeding analyst expectations.
The company’s name change comes along with a new logo depicting a blue infinity symbol referring to the ‘metaverse’ – Zuckerberg’s new focus to expand the company beyond its social media apps.
What is the metaverse?
The ‘metaverse’ is a set of virtual spaces where you can game, work and communicate with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.
Facebook explained: ‘You’ll be able to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create and more.
‘It’s not necessarily about spending more time online — it’s about making the time you do spend online more meaningful.’
While Facebook is leading the charge with the metaverse, it explained that it isn’t a single product one company can build alone.
‘Just like the internet, the metaverse exists whether Facebook is there or not,’ it added.
‘And it won’t be built overnight. Many of these products will only be fully realized in the next 10-15 years.’
The term ‘metaverse’ can refer to digital spaces, which are made more lifelike by the use of virtual reality or augmented reality.
‘Our mission remains the same, it’s still about bringing people together,’ the CEO said, adding: ‘Now we have a new North Star to help bring the metaverse to life.’
He noted that the word also means ‘beyond’ in Greek and symbolizes that there is ‘always more to build’ and ‘always a next chapter in the story’.
The buzzy word – first coined in a dystopian novel three decades earlier – has also grown popular in Silicon Valley, where Facebook-turned-Meta is headquartered, and has been referenced by other tech firms such as Microsoft.
Zuckerberg said: ‘I believe the metaverse is the next chapter of the Internet and it’s the next chapter of our company too. While most etch companies focus on how people could connect to technology, we focus on building technology so people could connect with each other.’
He has previously suggested the metaverse to be the future of the company and has been talking up the concept since July.
The company has invested heavily in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), developing hardware such as its Oculus VR headsets and working on AR glasses and wristband technologies.
In addition to its name change, Meta also announced an upcoming virtual reality headset called Project Cambria, a high-end product available to be released next year at a higher price point than the $299 Quest 2 headset, the company said in a blog post.
Meta also revealed the code name of its first fully AR-capable smart glasses: Project Nazare. The glasses are ‘still a few years out,’ the company said in a blog post as Zuckerberg noted: ‘We still have a ways to go with Nazare but we’re making good progress.’
The move to Meta is reminiscent of when Google abruptly renamed itself Alphabet in 2015, making Google a subsidiary and allowing it to become a technology conglomerate.
Meta reportedly refers to ‘metaverse,’ which Zuckerberg said he believes to be the future of the Internet in a Facebook Connect augmented and virtual reality conference, which is also when he revealed the rebrand
Meta’s scandals over the years, from selling user data to allowing human trafficking on the site
Meta staff have reported for years that they are concerned about the company’s failure to police hate speech
Facebook’s algorithms flooded users with extremist content and conspiracy theories based on their political beliefs
Meta executives knew 32 percent of girls said Instagram made their insecurities worse, but continues to add beauty-editing filters to the app
Instagram bombards those who suffer from eating disorders with images and videos of exceedingly thin females and others afflicted with anorexia
Meta executives knew it was becoming less popular among young people but shielded the numbers from investors
Staff failed to anticipate the disastrous January 6 Capitol riot despite monitoring a range of individual, right-wing accounts
Apple threatened to remove the app from the App Store over how it failed to police the trafficking of maids in the Philippines
Mark Zuckerberg personally agreed to requests from Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party to censor anti-government dissidents
Facebook ignored or delayed suggestions from its own experts on how to act to curb anti-vaccine misinformation that spread on its platform
In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook $5billion for allowing 87million US profiles to be harvested for information used for political advertising by British firm Cambridge Analytica
Facebook was accused of facilitating the spread of misinformation during the 2016 US presidential election
Meta had agreed last Monday to pay pay up to $14.25million to settle civil claims by the government that the company discriminated against American workers and violated federal recruitment rules
Last Tuesday in the UK, the company was fined £50.5million ($70million) after failing to provide enough important information to the competition regulator investigating the firm’s takeover of GIF sharing platform Giphy
Mark Zuckerberg has come under fire for public comments about the company that are often at odds with internal messaging