Facebook’s rebrand causes turbulence in the eye of social media

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg presenting the rebrand of Facebook and its logo.

The Verge

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg presenting the rebrand of Facebook and its logo.

As of Oct. 28, 2021, Facebook is no longer Facebook—at least the company isn’t.

At the company’s Connect event on Thursday night, CEO Mark Zuckerberg welcomed the rebranding of the billion-dollar company, announcing that its new name will be Meta, while the app will still remain Facebook for the time being.

“We are a company that builds technology to connect,” Zuckerberg said. “Together, we can finally put people at the center of our technology. And together, we can unlock a massively bigger creator economy” (The Verge, 2021).

Zuckerberg stated that the company thought the name Facebook didn’t entirely circumscribe everything the app does today and that it is still closely linked to one product; this is what triggered the major alteration. 

This rebrand comes at the expense of Zuckerberg’s future plans; it’s a part of the company’s efforts of shifting away from Facebook being known as nothing more than a social media platform. Zuckerberg, rather, is looking to build the metaverse, a fictional universe, in favor of this drastic change. 

Considering this name controversy and insensitivity to culture, Meta may already be looking at its downfall.”

Earlier this July, Zuckerberg told The Verge that while looking into the next few years, Facebook would “effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company” (The Verge, 2021). With Zuckerberg’s big intentions and high expectations, he sees the app gaining even more profit off of altering the brand that’s been known as Facebook for years.

So, why Meta? Zuckerberg, who says he loved studying classics in school, said the name Meta was inspired by the Greek word “meta.” In Greek, this means “beyond,” and Zuckerberg felt that symbolizes that there’s always more to build. 

Jumping right into action, the company changed its corporate sign outside what’s now the Meta headquarters in California. The sign went from a picture of a “thumbs up” to symbolize the Facebook like button to the new Meta logo—a blue infinity sign. 

Because of this significant rebrand, Facebook has faced a boatload of backlash over the past few weeks. It has caused quite an uprising in Israel, where “meta” sounds like the word “dead” in Hebrew. Particularly, Meta is pronounced like the feminine form of this word in Hebrew. To further this stand against Meta, a number of Twitter users have begun posting things with the hashtag #FacebookDead to prove their point. Even the emergency rescue volunteers, Zaka, became involved, telling their Twitter followers “Don’t worry, we’re on it” (BBC News, 2021). 

Furthermore, a comment under Twitter’s post confirming Facebook’s transition to Meta reads, “The Jewish community will ridicule this name for years to come” and “Thank you for providing all Hebrew speakers a good reason to laugh.” Zuckerberg’s response wasn’t exactly what Hebrew natives were looking for. To avoid future criticism, Zuckerberg said that “the next generation of Internet services would be built with greater ‘humility and openness,’ and take the ‘lessons’ of the past into account” (The Washington Post, 2021). However, many were skeptical of Zuckerberg’s commitment.

Considering this name controversy and insensitivity to culture, Meta may already be looking at its downfall, and as this hefty alteration takes Facebook enthusiasts back, Zuckerberg is only focused on expanding his app in the realms of the metaverse.