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What is behind Metaverse and the Facebook name change?

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A facebook press conference on October 28, 2021 sparked a lot of excitement about some very innovative and unprecedented decisions. Terms like “metaverse” began to capture and buzz a lot of attention and imagination. Here is a brief overview of some of the most important things discussed in the press conference:

Facebook (the company) changed its name:

  • Since 2004, the American company founded and run by Mark Zuckerberg has kept the name Facebook. However, on Thursday the Facebook CEO announced that he is changing the company’s name to Meta Platforms Inc. or Meta for short. He has also decided to change the company’s logo, into an infinity-shaped symbol that is slightly askew. This rebranding was motivated by a new service named “Metaverse” that the company was revealing.
  • While the company has adopted a name change, its products and services such as Facebook (the app), Instagram, Whatsapp and FB Messenger are still keeping their old names. 

The Announcment of the Metaverse:

  • Facebook’s name change was not the only experimental decision that the company made. The company also unveiled a new service named Metaverse.
  • The “metaverse” is a computer-generated virtual space where people can interact with each other – instead of simply looking at a computer screen. It essentially is a place full of unlimited virtual communities where people could do all sorts of things like work, play, meet through the use of VR (virtual reality) headsets, augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps or other technological devices. The company hopes to expand the “metaverse” to include other aspects of life online such as shopping and social media.

When can we be a part of this “Metaverse”?

Facebook plans to start rolling out its service this year in beta form, expand to more beta users in 2022, and then fully launch to all businesses in 2023. This means that the service still has a long time to go until it becomes fully polished and available to numerous consumers.

The Negative Implications

  • While the “metaverse” is a bold notion from Facebook that can fundamentally change numerous aspects of our daily lives, it goes with saying that there are some cons to this.
  • For one, the service is not fully developed yet, and we don’t know whether or not the service will actually be as fluid and simple as imagined. 
  • Another big issue is data privacy concerns. Facebook as a company has faced many privacy lawsuits in the past, and it seems clear that the company wants to carry its business model (using personal data to sell to targeted advertising) into the metaverse. The metaverse brings even more concern as it may require even more personal data and offer greater potential for misinformation and abuse than some of its other digital products. 
  • Ultimately we have to wait and see as to what this service develops into, and whether or not it will truly revolutionize our society and digital outlook as a whole.

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