Social media giant, Facebook has been renamed to be called Meta after 17 years. The new name will be the corporate identity of the social networking parent company behind Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus going forward.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta today at Facebook’s Connect 2021 conference which was streamed live on the social platform.
Facebook’s annual Connect conference brings together augmented and virtual reality developers, content creators, marketers, and others to celebrate the industry’s momentum and growth.
This year’s virtual event explored what experiences in the metaverse could feel like over the next decade — from social connection to entertainment, gaming, fitness, work, education and commerce.
According to Mark, apart from bringing together its apps and technologies under one new company brand, Meta’s focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.
Well, what’s the Metaverse?
He explained that the metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world.
It will allow people across the globe to share immersive experiences with other people even when they can’t be together — and do things together that they couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for the company.
At the unveiling, the CEO said:
“I’m proud of what we’ve built so far, and I’m excited about what comes next — as we move beyond what’s possible today, beyond the constraints of screens, beyond the limits of distance and physics, and towards a future where everyone can be present with each other, create new opportunities and experience new things. It is a future that is beyond anyone company and that will be made by all of us.”
“Right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future. Over time, I hope that we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and identity on what we’re building toward”, he concludes.
This isn’t a surprising development. Recall that we reported the possible name change some weeks back. We know that Facebook had been laying the groundwork for this change for months now.
This is especially in the light of a sustained media backlash to its brand. A few weeks back, a former employee leaked a trove of documents to the media and government bodies that raised old questions about the company’s commitment to its users’ safety.
Other announcements at the event
Alongside its vision for the metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg also shared more about the progress the company is making today with some of the foundational elements across its AR & VR technologies. These include
Virtual reality: Facebook’s VR game was particularly heightened by the release of Quest 2. Mark said that the development of other games is under works as well. Facebook is getting more out of VR especially in the area of social connectivity, fitness and more ways VR can be used as a work device.
The company announced plans to invest in the developer community to help them build and monetize their applications through new VR tools and features.
Augmented Reality: He announced that Facebook is investing in the core AR technology especially with plans to bring the AR glasses technology to market.
While we work on the hardware to make AR glasses, Facebook said it is cultivating the content, capabilities, and communities that can enrich Facebook experiences today and make the glasses a reality tomorrow.
The company also announced a $150-million investment in immersive learning to train the next generation of creators.
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