Welcome to the Metaverse
You will surely have heard by now that Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook is to become ‘Meta’ and he’s seemingly very excited about a future in which we all socialise in a virtual world called the Metaverse. I must admit, this doesn’t sound at all appealing to me – having been experiencing life via video calls for the last two years, I’d much rather look someone in the whites of their eyes than stare at them on yet another screen. But anyway, back to the branding element of this big decision.
Whilst many people will be talking about it being the big re-brand of 2021, let’s not forget that Facebook isn’t going anywhere, it’s actually more about a restructure of the corporate brand architecture. You may remember that less than 2 years ago, Facebook became the parent brand behind Instagram and WhatsApp (you can read my previous opinion about this in which I interestingly seem to tell the future!) What they’ve done now is move Facebook back into being a product brand so it’s one of many brands now sitting underneath the new corporate brand of Meta.
Perhaps this move is primarily to allow the company to diversify more into the virtual world but I can’t help feeling that it might also have something to do with the negative associations and bad press surrounding Facebook. If that negativity gets worse, as it looks set to do, then having it focused on only one brand within the Meta company and taking the pressure off the others, suddenly becomes a very real advantage.
The original Greek meaning of Meta is ‘beyond’ and it looks like that’s what Zuckerberg is doing – moving beyond Facebook and creating some necessary distance.