Facebook goes Meta

Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is rebranding to Meta, to focus on building the metaverse and revealed the expected features of the shared virtual space.
Published 17/11/2021

Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook, said it would rename its business Meta Platforms, Inc. Early users of the virtual worlds known as the metaverse criticized Facebook’s rebranding. They say Facebook did not create the metaverse and does not have the right to take credit for the idea.

Metaverse, generally, is the idea for a new internet based on virtual spaces and virtual reality products. Both companies and investors want to be a part of the next big thing. But users have for years been spending time on these fast-growing, but little-known, virtual worlds.

Ryan Kappel is one of those users. He is an American who has held meetings in different metaverses for more than two years.

“They are essentially trying to build what many of us have been building for years, but rebrand it as their own,” Kappel said.

Facebook’s announcement comes as the company fights criticism from lawmakers and regulators over its market power, software operation and policing of abuses on its services.

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Blockchain and virtual reality

In virtual reality, users appear as a moving image, or avatar. As the avatar “moves” around, the player meets friends and plays games.

Centralized and decentralized metaverses

Blockchain technology is the basis of many existing metaverse platforms. It makes central control impossible. Blockchain is also the electronic heart of cryptocurrencies. In these virtual worlds, people use cryptocurrencies to buy land and other digital objects in the form of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

However, minutes after Facebook made the announcement, a torrent of hilarious comments began on Twitter, especially from companies, people and even the social media giant Twitter. Taking to their social media handle, Twitter mocked Facebook’s name change to Meta.

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US hamburger chain Wendy’s joked about the announcement, saying “Changing name to Meat”. Moreover, Meta’s new Twitter account, which has already accumulated 13.5 million followers already, replied to Wendy’s saying, “Nice to meat you, @Wendys.”

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Some users joked that people discussing Facebook’s name change on Twitter was in itself “meta”.

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Also, “Meta” in Jewish means “dead” and a hashtag #facebookisdead started spreading because of that.

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However, some early metaverse users said Facebook’s entry could raise interest in the idea of virtual worlds generally, attracting more users and causing more virtual worlds to be created.

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