Too Much (Meta)morphosis.
A few weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg took to a virtual stage to describe a revolutionary change. Facebook, now Meta, encompasses the company’s purchase of Oculus and its expansion away from social media, the original purpose of their company. In order to maintain clarity, this article will continue to refer to the company with the more commonly known name, Facebook.
Facebook's new brand identity and logo, Meta.
Meta (Facebook) has been embroiled in privacy scandals since 2016 when the massive Cambridge Analytica leak raised permanent questions about how Facebook handles data. The truth is that Facebook does not want to admit it likes to make a lot of money, because to do that, it has to sell your data to third parties, who are charged massive amounts of money for the information so they can carry out their targeted advertising.
The new name is an attempt to distract people from their privacy woes and to instead focus their attention on Facebook’s new business venture: the metaverse. It describes the future generation of the Internet which succeeds the IoT (Internet of Things) generation. A combination of augmented, virtual, and physical reality combine to give the Internet a virtual landscape of products, including NFTs and cryptocurrency. Facebook is not the first company to expand into the metaverse—Roblox, Epic Games, and Microsoft are all actively pursuing this technology.
Facebook has already updated their product branding.
By announcing their intentions and making the metaverse known in the public consciousness, Facebook is hoping to build trust, since it will demonstrate that they have been developing their technologies for a long time and will therefore cover up the issues they made in the past decades. Facebook is desperately struggling for relevance in an age where new social media networks like TikTok have fresh new content every day, whereas Facebook is clogged up with fraudulent and recycled content.
The question is whether Facebook’s initiative will work, since the metaverse is still a theoretical concept with no official support from government agencies such as the FCC. Stringent regulations will likely hamper Facebook’s ambitions, especially as the government is not still too keen on having such a Big Tech loose cannon like Facebook. Additionally, there is no clear description as to what benefits the metaverse provides. It is also not something that is noticeable to the end user or something that can be switched on.
Facebook is holding reputation and advancement in both hands but they can be combined. Mark Zuckerberg is not the right person to lead Meta into the future, especially as other companies continue to progress their security and privacy commitments, making Facebook look like a dinosaur. With Zuckerberg, the company will continue to stagnate until it develops a permanent reputation for toxic products that are counterintuitive and disregard safety and security in the name of profits.