Facebook launched as a social network in 2004, but in the years since then the company has expanded into other territory including virtual reality, smart displays, and… other social apps like Instagram and WhatsApp.

So at a time when Facebook is coming under a lot of scrutiny, it’s probably not a surprise that CEO Mark Zuckerberg and company have decided it’s time for a name change. Meet Meta.

Oculus Meta Quest 2

To be clear, the company’s primary product is still the social media app that will continue to be known as Facebook. But the parent company is called Meta, a name that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise from a company that’s spent a lot of time talking about the Metaverse in recent years.

What I hadn’t really expected is that Facebook is retiring some of its other brands. For example, the Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset? Starting early next year it’ll be called the Meta Quest. That makes sense since it’s not like the company’s virtual reality headsets are all that tied to the social network… although I’ve definitely heard plenty of complaints that you need a Facebook account to use Oculus headsets. According to Engadget, as part of the name change, Meta will walk back that decision, allowing users to login to Meta Quest devices in other ways.

Another product that’s getting a more modest name change? The Facebook Portal smart display and communications device will be renamed as the Meta Portal. But, you know, you’ll still be able to use it to make calls over Facebook Messenger.

In some ways Facebook’s move is reminiscent of Google’s restructuring a few years ago, when it was reorganized under a new parent company called Alphabet. But it’s not like Google decided to rebrand Gmail as Amail or anything.

press release

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  1. Grand visions of Second Life for Business replacing reality as the baseline for interaction are only going to come to fruition if the governments and corporations make reality too awful for most people to deal with, more than they have already.
    But from a social engineering perspective it doesn’t really matter if they only get like 5% of the population. Get that many people hooked on the service, and radical but socially acceptable interest groups can pay buckets of money to distort those people’s realities until they’ve got no idea what’s real and what’s not, then give them a few objectives framed as moral imperatives.
    This is not to say that this, but on Facebook, is not how we ended up with people believing and spreading what we’re obliged to call misinformation (although it did happen, but the results are regarded as fact). That’s just a consequence of Facebook being a point of contact for family members, which is a consequence of trying to be one account per person.