Opinion- Into the Metaverse

The real reason why Facebook changed it’s name


Meta/Facebook Design

The logo variations of Meta are meant to showcase the constant reincarnation of the company and its encompassing reach, and was presented at the companies yearly Connect meeting. “Rebranding can help refuel any company,” digital media teacher Taylor Mersmann said, “I think Facebook has gotten into a bit of hot water and they want to change their image.” The name change occurred on Oct. 28th, and has come in light of another scandal that the company has befallen.

Gianna Ortner-Findlay, Editor-In-Chief

On Oct. 28th, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the end of an era, the media giant changed its name for the first time since the initial release in 2004. Zuckerberg revealed the name change at an annual event called Connect, where those in attendance can hear speeches from keynote speakers, attend sessions that can help create the next round of media moguls and companies.

“The last few years have been humbling for me and my company in a lot of ways,” said Zuckerberg in his address, talking about how the last decade has seen the unearthing of several scandals the communications titan has done.

Facebook’s name changed in the aftermath of the most recent misconduct done by the tech company when whistleblower Frances Haugen brought light to hundreds of internal documents revealing the risks that Facebook was willing to commit for the sake of profit. Meta is facing large allegations, in which the company is accused of disregarding consumer safety, producing something akin to experiments on their user’s mental health, as well as a plethora of other things that harm their patrons.

I joined Facebook in 2006,” digital media teacher Taylor Mersmann said, “The [original] intent was to build a digital network of relationships.”

The application’s name isn’t changing, but the company’s brand name is now Meta. This name change gives a new look to the old company that still houses the same problems.

“Rebranding can help refuel any company,” Mersmann said, “I think Facebook has gotten into a bit of hot water, and they want to change their image.”

Name changing amid a scandal is not a new form of covering up and has been done in many different companies, from tobacco to baby powder. But, unfortunately, changing a company name inspires consumers to believe that other things about the company will change, even when the probability is high that they won’t.

“From now on, we’re going to be the metaverse first. Not Facebook first,” Zuckerberg said, continuing to state that this change would establish a shift in priority, encompassing all of what the tech giant is doing and not just centering around Facebook.

Meta’s data center has found a home in Fort Worth since 2015 and was recently greenlit for an expansion to hold more data. This facility contains information from thousands of accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. It is essential to remember what social media was created for, to begin with, as information and data become more intertwined.

Social media, I believe, was intended to create a safe place for everyone that felt excluded,” said junior and Hill Top News reporter Braden Bedford. “It created a place for people to share their lives to other people who care because maybe they felt others [around them] didn’t.” 

While many people have mixed feelings about Meta, the company’s hold on information that consumers have access to is visible. In the age of fact-checkers, hired from a nonpartisan group known as the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), knowledge is policed, even if it’s not necessary to be contained.

“I also worry for the future of journalism and social media,” Mersmann said, “Everyone has become an expert, and fact-checking and multiple source reviews have seemed to go out the window in large part.”

This company name change is simply a reminder that the tech company is merely that- a company. Their first priority will be Meta, not the users that populate their apps. In light of this, people who use social media apps need to proceed with caution. Users need to be careful of the information they publish as Meta invites its users to dive into the metaverse and its augmented reality.

I use social media [Facebook] mostly just to share the important moments in my life or goals I achieve with my family that I can’t keep up with in person,” Bedford said.

As social media and technology evolve, the populace that uses it must also adapt to this change of pace. Meta and its applications are not the first to introduce changes, and they will not be the last, so consumers must be willing to wade into the digital water with caution.

Facebook is taking social media to the next level with augmented reality becoming more of an actual thing,” Mersmann said, “so, I think they want a name that goes along with the changes–something all-encompassing.”


All Meta and Facebook representative quotes were taken from The Washington Post and CNBC. Links to the articles where the quotes were taken from were supplied directly after the end of the quote.