Facebook: New Name, Same Leadership
It’ll take more than a rebrand to fix the company
Didn’t you hear? Facebook is more than a social media company; it’s a Metaverse company. If you’re confused by the term, join the club.
The metaverse is best described as a virtual-reality space where users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users, but how others will interpret this — and to what end — is unknown. Mark Zuckerberg thinks it’s the future and is going all in, determined to be at the forefront. Speaking to Casey Newton at The Verge, he said, “I think that this is just going to be a big part of the next chapter for the way that the internet evolves after the mobile internet. And I think it’s going to be the next big chapter for our company too.” Facebook already has more than 10,000 employees building consumer hardware like the recent RayBan AR glasses, likely to be important tools to operate this digital world.
As part of this shift to the metaverse, it seems Facebook is going to pull a Google and throw all of its various products — Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus, etc. — under one new shiny roof. Twitter is awash with predictions for what this new entity could be named, with some standouts including Facepalm and Boomerbook. Those taking the name more seriously are speculating that it could be tied to ‘Horizons,’ linked to the recent (and creepy) Horizon Workrooms demo. We will have to wait until the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th.
The rebrand makes sense. It aligns with Zuckerberg’s vision that Facebook and its social siblings are only part of the overall experience and allows him to separate the virtual components, which may appease antitrust regulators who want the company broken up.
But on the flip side, it seems too convenient. It might be nothing more than a diversion tactic. When other companies hit crises of this scale, moving from one shitshow to the next, they opt for a change of CEO to steady the ship and sail for calmer seas. In Facebook’s case, that’s impossible because Zuckerberg personally controls nearly 60% of the voting power of Facebook shares and has to give his personal consent to big decisions. So what other choice does the company have? A rebrand will allow Facebook to try and reposition…