Facebook announced on Thursday that it was officially rebranding, and the name for its new umbrella company—Meta—immediately was met with jokes and memes online.
The potential for the rebranding was first reported by the Verge earlier this month. The new company puts the social media giant’s apps like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus under one larger umbrella.
That report sparked a flurry of jokes about what the company’s new name should be. However, the actual name is far less ambitious than some of the suggestions that were floated at the time.
The new name was announced during the company’s annual “Connect” conference on Thursday afternoon, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives talked about their plans for the “metaverse” and AR/VR features. During the event, Zuckerberg said the Facebook name did not encompass everything the company was doing.
“From now on, we are going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first,” Zuckerberg said.
Facebook’s announcement about the Meta rebrand comes as the social media giant has faced a torrent of criticism. Earlier this month, a former employee turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before Congress and claimed that the company “put their astronomical profits before people.” Just before the testimony, Facebook and Instagram experienced a major outage and the company announced that it was “pausing its plans to launch an Instagram for Kids product.
More recently, a massive trove of internal documents from Haugen were provided to dozens of news outlets. The documents, dubbed “The Facebook Papers” have been at the center of dozens of stories about the social media giant.
Against this backdrop, it is perhaps not shocking that almost immediately after the new name was announced, it was mocked by people online.
‘Hey, Facebook, how come you’re trying to destroy democracy?’ ‘Facebook? Who’s Facebook? Our name is Meta.’ ‘Oh, my bad—carry on,” one Twitter user joked.
“ah ‘meta’ as in ‘metastatic,’ got it, no notes,” another Twitter user wrote.
“I wonder if FB took the name Meta because of metaDATA,” another person chimed in with.
They were far from the only ones.
You can think whatever you want about the new name, but Meta is probably better than other options.
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