Meta Trouble: Mark Zuckerberg’s Renaming of Facebook Met with Jeers

Mark Zuckerberg looking perturbed
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Tech giant Facebook has rebranded itself with a new name, calling itself “Meta,” in a move that shows the company’s new focus on virtual reality. The Internet is having a field day picking on the odd name and Mark Zuckerberg’s even odder announcement video.

Reuters reports that tech giant Facebook has rebranded as “Meta,” indicating the company’s newfound focus on building a virtual reality “metaverse.” The metaverse will be a shared virtual environment that Facebook believes could be the new primary form of online interaction, allowing users to socialize, work, and play in a limitless virtual environment.

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The term metaverse comes from the popular sci-fi novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, published in 1992. The term refers to the idea of a shared virtual world which can be easily accessed by people from different devices. Mark Zuckerberg commented during the Facebook Connect keynote: “Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future.”

Zuckerberg discussed his plans for the metaverse in July, stating:

This is a big topic. The metaverse is a vision that spans many companies — the whole industry. You can think about it as the successor to the mobile internet. And it’s certainly not something that any one company is going to build, but I think a big part of our next chapter is going to hopefully be contributing to building that, in partnership with a lot of other companies and creators and developers. But you can think about the metaverse as an embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content — you are in it. And you feel present with other people as if you were in other places, having different experiences that you couldn’t necessarily do on a 2D app or webpage, like dancing, for example, or different types of fitness.

I think a lot of people, when they think about the metaverse, they think about just virtual reality — which I think is going to be an important part of that. And that’s clearly a part that we’re very invested in, because it’s the technology that delivers the clearest form of presence. But the metaverse isn’t just virtual reality. It’s going to be accessible across all of our different computing platforms; VR and AR, but also PC, and also mobile devices and game consoles. Speaking of which, a lot of people also think about the metaverse as primarily something that’s about gaming. And I think entertainment is clearly going to be a big part of it, but I don’t think that this is just gaming. I think that this is a persistent, synchronous environment where we can be together, which I think is probably going to resemble some kind of a hybrid between the social platforms that we see today, but an environment where you’re embodied in it.

Facebook plans to bring its apps and technologies under one new brand, but the company’s overall corporate structure will be maintained. Facebook reportedly already has a number of devices planned to be released under the Meta brand, including a new smartwatch with a front-facing camera and rounded screen.

A photo of the watch was found inside the company’s app for controlling the smartglasses it launched in partnership with Ray-Ban. App developer Steve Moser found the picture and shared it with Bloomberg News.

Many across social media were quick to ridicule Zuckerberg and the idea of a metaverse.

Read more at Reuters here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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