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.
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.