When Big Tech companies pull a name change, there’s usually a reason, and the reason is manipulating investor perceptions to make it seem as if there’s more to them than their one signature profitable product.
Like say Google reinventing itself as Alphabet. “Don’t think of us as just ads on an unearned and thoroughly broken search engine monopoly. We’ve got a whole alphabet of products. Which are never going to make much money.”
Facebook entering the corporate witness protection program through Meta is perfectly timed with the unrolling of the “Facebook Papers” censorship pressure campaign, but also has quite a bit to do with the fact that it’s the weakest of the FAANG bunch. Facebook’s core products are social media platforms that are a technological or cultural shift away from oblivion. Unlike Google, Microsoft and Apple, Facebook never managed a link between a hardware and software product. All it offers are social apps that people can easily switch from.
And thus… Meta.
Facebook’s embrace of the Oculus VR system always seemed like an odd move. But branding the company around the metaverse, an intellectual gimmick orbiting around the more pretentious game companies like Epic, allows Facebook to appear to escape its fragile social media platform monopolies and to make them seem more futuristic and encompassing, and most importantly, roped to a hardware product.
Suddenly Facebook isn’t just an app that harvests their personal data and unrolls a garbage news feed, it’s the Matrix. Which is a much more exciting proposition than being Facebook.