Somewhere deep in the bowels of Facebook's Silicon Valley head office, a public relations executive is patting themselves on the back.
I mean, the idea to change the company's name was genius. Now, no one is going to remember the 'Facebook Papers' — those leaked internal documents that showed the company well and truly knows (and downplays) how much harm its products are causing.
Besides, Facebook is ready to move on, to become a fully fledged "social technology company", rather than just an app that an enterprising college student named Mark Zuckerberg originally invented to rate the attractiveness of his female peers.
The rebrand (which is a fancy PR term for 'Hey everyone, look over there!') involves switching the Facebook corporate name to — wait for it....
That's meta, short for 'metaverse', Zuckerberg explained via a media release.
Ahh, yes. I see.
(Quick, what and where is a metaverse? Anyone?)
The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection. It's a collective project that will be created by people all over the world, and open to everyone. You’ll be able to socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what’s possible today. pic.twitter.com/655yFRm8yZ— Meta (@Meta) October 28, 2021
"In the metaverse, you’ll be able to do almost anything you can imagine — get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create — as well as completely new experiences that don’t really fit how we think about computers or phones today.
"In this future, you will be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parents' living room to catch up."
[Note to self: Seek comment on whether you'll be able to stop a parent's hologram from popping in unannounced.]
Basically, said Zuckerberg, the name change is a reflection of the fact that the company is pivoting to be about more than its 17-year-old social media platform.
It's looking toward a theoretical future in which users seamlessly traverse online, virtual and augmented worlds.
The move explains some of Facebo– sorry, Meta's recent product announcements, including the release of its new virtual reality headset and a platform called Horizon Workrooms, which will allow colleagues to gather in virtual reality in lieu of attending in-person meetings.
The new name comes, of course, with a snazzy corporate logo, which is either an infinity symbol or the eye mask of an animated supervillain.
Meta.— Grant Stern is fully vaccinated (@grantstern) October 28, 2021
How it started: How it's going: pic.twitter.com/m7KiminsYn