Why Facebook’s Name Change Is More Than Just a Rebrand

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In today’s Money Morning…a digital wonderland…the next tech frontier of this decade…new worlds, new wealth opportunities…and more…

At first glance, a name change for Facebook probably seems as uneventful as when Google officially rebranded as Alphabet. It was a difference that meant little to users, and little to Google’s overall brand.

After all, everyone still refers to them as Google today.

So will Facebook’s name change (of the business, not the site) to ‘Meta’ be any different?

I would wager yes.

Because even if the name doesn’t stick, this rebrand is about so much more…

Zuckerberg, despite his lack of charisma or charm, is obviously a smart businessman. He has built his empire on the back of a keen understanding of the power of social media. That’s why Facebook is still the number one social media site to this day.

But I think Zuckerberg is smart enough to realise that social media is not the most sustainable sector.

We’re already starting to see user growth taper off from Facebook itself. And while Instagram and WhatsApp are still going strong, I suspect they too will run into growth issues eventually — particularly as the space becomes fragmented with new entrants like TikTok.

Which is precisely why Zuckerberg is banking Facebook’s future on the ‘metaverse’…

A digital wonderland

If you’ve never heard the term ‘metaverse’ before, the best way to imagine it is as a more interactive version of the internet. It’s a digital experience that Zuckerberg plans to bring to life via virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies.

The whole point is to create a Matrix-like simulation — a world that people can explore and experience beyond just a screen.

As for when we could expect to see such technology become real…well, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Meta is planning to hire some 10,000 staff to bring the metaverse to life — a project that is certainly years away, if not decades.

Or it may never come to fruition at all. This is, after all, a huge gamble on Zuckerberg’s behalf.

Few tech companies are taking VR and AR as seriously as Meta. But it is a technology that almost every other major tech firm has at least dabbled in. This reinforces the idea that this sector could become the next tech frontier of this decade — much like the smartphone was for the 2010s.

As Meta explains in their rebrand announcement:

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 let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together — and do things together you 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 our company.

For investors though, and not just Meta shareholders, the exciting part of this metaverse premise is how it will be monetised. Because while digital assets — such as land, property, clothes, and much more — are all just pixels, people are willing to pay for them.

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New worlds, new wealth opportunities

Now you might scoff at all this as some sort of digital delusion — a pipe dream that seems as bizarre as its name.

But I’d urge you not to be too quick to judge.

We’re already seeing digital proto worlds being successfully commodified.

The US$47.6 billion Roblox Corp is a perfect example. It’s a game developer that has built an entire ecosystem, including payments, for a digitally-creative world aimed at kids. It pulled in almost US$1 billion in revenue last year.

Or, for something even more experimental, there is Decentraland. It’s another game-like world where users can buy a whole variety of digital goods that are backed by the Ethereum blockchain. This means that if you buy a block of land in Decentraland, it is yours and yours alone.

It is this kind of merging between blockchain technologies and AR/VR worlds that I expect will be a big tipping point for Meta. It’s something I’m sure Zuckerberg will be looking to emulate with his own crypto solutions.

And for investors like yourself, it will open up a wide variety of opportunities. Because whether Meta is the first to make this VR/AR digital world or not, it seems inevitable that someone will.

That’s why I believe this name change from Facebook is so telling — because it isn’t just a rebrand…

It’s a signal that the race is now on to bring a digital metaworld to life.

Regards,

Ryan Clarkson-Ledward Signature

Ryan Clarkson-Ledward,
Editor, Money Morning

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About Ryan Clarkson-Ledward

Ryan Clarkson-Ledward is an Editor at Money Morning.

Ryan holds degrees in both communication and international business. He helps bring Money Morning readers the latest market updates, both locally and abroad. Ryan tackles all the issues investors need to know about that the mainstream media neglects.

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