Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, made an announcement on Thursday that Facebook is changing its name to Meta. Facebook as a property will keep its name, but the overarching corporate umbrella will be Meta. This includes properties like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus. The new name is a nod to the Metaverse project that Facebook has been working on–an immersive virtual reality experience that would have implications for social media, gaming, business, and a host of other functions. We asked the experts on our Social team to share their thoughts on the big news.
What is your reaction to Facebook changing its company name to Meta?
“While Facebook has been planning to change their name and combine companies under one corporate umbrella, the timing of the announcement comes at a strategic point in their company tenure. As of a few weeks ago, the recent whistleblower scandal and release of previously private documents put extreme pressure on Facebook to restore their public image. These stories have been “buried” on the internet while the public shifts their focus to the new Metaverse and the future of the internet. This was an excellent PR opportunity for them. The fact that the Metaverse will rely on augmented reality and not computers and phones also has implications for other tech giants like Apple. If the Metaverse ends up reaching millions or even billions of users, Apple and other traditional hardware sellers will have more difficulty in generating demand in the future.”– Colleen Kehoe, Sr. Social Media Specialist
“It was inevitable Facebook would change their name when they began acquiring other platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp. The push in the last couple years, from agency reps, is to treat the Facebook family of products—the Metaverse as a single advertising entity. Ad creative should fit in a minimum of four placements and new placements are becoming available constantly, such as IG Reels and In-stream Video. Facebook and Instagram may never truly be considered part of the same entity, just as Google and YouTube are not considered such.”– Melissa Kerwin, Sr. Social Media Specialist
What do you think this name change means for the future of Facebook?
“I think there will be a shift of focus to virtual reality, gaming, and more online and digital experiences.”– Cat Trestini, Sr. Social Media Specialist
“With the rise of platforms like Twitch, as well as interactive gaming and a new take on virtual experiences due to the pandemic, we will continue to see further virtual interaction opportunities. The Metaverse breaks down the gamer barrier and will allow users to congregate in a non-gaming way.”– Melissa Kerwin, Sr. Social Media Specialist
What are the implications for marketing on Facebook and Instagram?
“I don’t see Facebook/Meta splitting up Facebook and Instagram unless they’re forced to through anti-trust legislation. From what I understand, it was a ton of work to bring them together, not just from an Ads Manager perspective, but they now have a unified messaging platform. There’s also benefits to users (messaging) and advertisers (Ads Manager) by keeping them unified.”– Ryan Lammela, Channel Director
“I think there will be more opportunities to get in front of consumers in an increasingly competitive marketplace. It’s going to require creative agencies to adapt when considering virtual reality content as well.”– Kristie Murphy, Channel Manager, Social
Are there things that brands should be doing or considering in the short term in light of this news?
“There’s not much that advertisers can do in this moment to prepare for the Metaverse, as the technology presented in the keynote will likely take years to be completely functional and rolled out to the public. What we can do now is help our clients plan for the future and the continuously changing social media landscape. The Metaverse will likely have advertiser opportunities including product placements and virtual live sessions with KOLs and influencers, just as a couple of examples. Advertisers will need to start thinking of “big ideas” to stand out in this virtual universe. In the meantime, with Facebook’s Ad Manager interface undergoing constant updates, resulting in bugs and outages, it will be important to shift dollars to platforms like Reddit, Snapchat, and TikTok to maintain a strong social presence.”– Colleen Kehoe, Sr. Social Media Specialist
Stay tuned as we will continue to monitor and provide updates from Meta to ensure our solutions and all client recommendations stay ahead of the curve within this new experiential and emerging virtual space.