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Not Facebook but Meta? Why Name Is Not the Problem

by Yucatan Times
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Facebook is changing its name to “Meta,” but will that fix all its problems? Does rebranding this company mean a fresh start? We must tackle these questions with great care and be skeptical about whether there will be any positive outcomes to this change.

Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook back in 2004, which was a directory solely for Harvard students. After two decades, billions of dollars, and 90 acquisitions, this social platform became popular worldwide, and “Facebook” became a household name.

The new name “Meta” incorporates WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus, Facebook, and other platforms from this family. Being this wide, we can say that the company is a conglomerate at its core, spreading its wings beyond just social media.

Zuckerberg was very clear that this company now belongs to the ever-evolving metaverse, with Facebook as the cornerstone of the whole deal. What does this change of name mean, and can we expect all the downsides of Facebook to disappear under it magically?

Renaming Facebook to Meta – can that fix Facebook’s problems?
The name Facebook comes with numerous associations, some of which are unsavory. These associations include the disapproval of the public, scrutiny from Congress, and reputational damage. Hearing “Facebook” comes with some reservations.

The biggest issue is its expansion into the newly widespread cryptocurrency world. Some expect that, with the company’s rebranding, Facebook might just have a chance at overcoming these problems. However, both laymen on Twitter and branding experts are skeptical.

They believe that renaming the company can’t erase reputational damage, nor can it make all the scandals related to its original name vanish. Facebook can only overcome all the flaws at its core by making corrections in all its actions, not by changing the name.

The company’s rebranding decision came to light after Frances Haugen, a whistleblower of confidential data, leaked numerous pages of Facebook’s internal documents and gave them to The Wall Street Journal.

After that, the company’s exposure became public and spiked a Capitol Hill hearing, where Congress discussed Facebook’s regulation or the breakup of its conglomerate for years. Knowing that, what might we expect as an outcome of renaming Facebook to Meta.

What is the actual outcome of this rebranding?
Rebranding the company this way, by just changing the name, can’t do much more than give the company a facelift. Anaezi Modu stated that companies must work on brand transformations if they wish to rebrand, and he is the CEO and founder of Rebrand, so we should take him at his word.

Hearing that, we may conclude that Facebook will have to do much more than just acquire a new name, and that includes defining the company’s new mission and capabilities. Changing the name and the logo can’t do anything, not even with top-notch marketing strategies.

Unless Facebook addresses a greater portion of its issues, this type of rebranding is pointless. It can even make matters worse. If the company doesn’t polish up its reputation, a new name may even provoke some mistrust.

For example, when Google carried out reconstruction in 2015, it named the parent company “Alphabet,” which indicated apparent growth beyond the world’s biggest search engine. Google included Waymo, DeepMind, Google X, and Fitbit.

With this type of renaming, people still viewed Google as the primary company, and the name Alphabet fit perfectly, signaling that it all fits together. If you ask Wall Street, Alpha means a sure investment. However, what Facebook did is far from Google’s example.

What are the things we still must look out for when it comes to Facebook with a new name?
Now, as users of the Facebook platform for quite some time, all we can do is continue to look out for some of Facebook’s flaws. For example, we all know that Facebook shows targeted ads by diving into our search history and sifting through what we search for the most in search engines.

According to many opinions, this is a violation of privacy, especially if ads become a tool used to influence our beliefs. Because the new “Meta” will potentially continue to do the same, we must find ways to protect ourselves. Luckily, there are two simple ways for us to do that.

The first option is to limit online services, including Facebook, from collecting data about you and from targeting you with ads.

The second option is to use tools that aim to protect your digital identity. For instance, many browsers now allow you to disable third-party cookies or to limit browser fingerprinting. Additionally, many choose Virtual Private Networks as their protection. Tools like Atlas VPN have the power to encrypt your internet traffic and conceal your IP address. Thus, online services get to retrieve fewer data about your online actions and location.

Yes, Facebook is rebranding, supposedly. However, Zuckerberg’s idea of rebranding is just renaming the company. We can’t expect much to change unless this social platform does its best to correct and eliminate its major downsides. Until then, follow our tips on protecting your internet traffic and staying safe.

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