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So, Facebook has a new name: Meta. But what does it mean? No, your social network isn’t going to change its name, neither will WhatsApp for instance.
Actually, Mark Zuckeberg changed the name of Facebook Inc, the holding company behind Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Oculos and others.
According to Zuckeberg, the CEO and founder of the most successful social network in history so far, his main goal is to expand its business beyond the 2D dimension technology. For example, exploring virtual reality and augmented reality.
What about Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp?
As far as we know for now, nothing changes regarding Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram, the three biggest social media that the previously called Facebook Inc, now called Meta, controls.
The new name comes as a new brand for the company to explore it’s new objectives> the metaverse.
Meta is a reference to the metaverse, an idealistic multiplatform, multi program, multi product integrated universe that connects all companies’ tools together —and, at some point, even other companies’ applications.
Or, as the Meta itself explains: “The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world”.
Yes, it is a pretty broad concept, and it goes further. “It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together —and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world”, the company said.
In practical terms, it means Meta wants to expand our virtual world beyond our 2D screens, such as phones or televisions. It includes tools such as 3D immersive glasses, for example, and other gadgets.
Is not too much to believe that what Zuckeberg intends is to really recreate the way we interact online, and make virtual life even more present in our daily life.
For that purpose, Meta also announced a $ 10 billion investment in hardware and software development for virtual reality and augmented reality, and a $ 150 million investment to train the next generation of creators. And a new tool, called Presence Platform, focused on creating mixed reality environments.
Three main tools
Meta has announced so far three technologies it will invest in for creating the metaverse.
Quest 2 is a new product that consists of 3D immersive glasses and handsets that can be used for gaming and work —creating virtual workrooms for meetings, for example, or playing games in Nintendo Wii style.
With Spark AR, a platform focused on photo and video editing in augmented reality, users can build and share new effects for Instagram and also make a portfolio with their created images. It also has a partnership with museums, such as the Versailles Palace, to bring their collections to augmented reality.
And lastly, who has never seen a beautiful landscape and thought: “Oh, I wish I had glasses capable of recording this right now”? That’s what Smart Glasses, a partnership with Ray-Ban, promises.
The first generation of glasses, called Ray-Ban Stories, are already available for $ 299. It can take pictures, record videos, recieve calls and play music.
In the ideal metaverse, all these tools integrate with social networks and virtual environments capable of mixing virtual reality and the natural world to create more forms of interaction.
For now, it is a start.
But many people are questioning the timing in which Zuckerberg has announced the new Meta brand.
It has nothing to do with Facebook recent breakdown
Recently, the three biggest Meta’s social media (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) crashed for around six hours.
It brought up a lot of questions regarding social media data security and reliability to many users —and a lot of headache for those who need social networks for daily jobs.
But the metaverse does not promise to create a more stable Instagram, or a more secure Facebook. It promises to create a new way to use social media, which is already a big step.
What about Facebook Papers and investigations?
Facebook’s breakdown happened just days before an ex-employee for the company brought to the US Senate a series of allegations regarding the social network’s lack of responsibility, an episode called Facebook Pappers.
For example, the employee said Instagram would bring depresive and unsafe content to young children, especially women. Also, that Facebook would optimize certains posts, depending on who the post belongs to, leaving behind its algorithm.
The company is being investigated by the US Congress for major data leaks and misuse of technology with dubious intentions, but the story seem far from the end —and has already cost a lot of money to Zuckeberg.
Anyway, the new name is not directly linked to any of this, but it comes in hand in parallel to these events, for business matters.
So, why change its name? As Zuckeberg explained, it is all about a rebranding, which means giving the same company a new look, for it to be able to diversify or change its products.
“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. Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and identity on what we’re building toward”, said the CEO.
The problem was that Facebook Inc was too much attached to… of course, Facebook, the social media.
The metaverse wants to be more immersive than our regular virtual and social experience. Therefore, Zuckeberg understands that it needs to create a completely new idea of what it is to be online.
He wants to make Facebook part of the metaverse, not the face of the metaverse.
Last, but not least: security
Nevertheless, it is important to remember that a more connected and virtual world means more data, and more data from its users.
So, as important as knowing what Meta’s new goals are, is knowing how to protect yourself. For more on that, Cleverping has a page dedicated to help you find the best home security system. Check it here.
Written By: Larissa Bernardes