While Mark Zuckerberg has just announced the change of the name of the Facebook group to "Meta", the founder of Facebook has also promised to create 10,000 jobs in Europe.
This is the news that surprised everyone. This October 28, during the Connect conference, the annual event dedicated to virtual and augmented reality of the company, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company Facebook became "Meta".
The company said this would better "encompass" what it does, as it expands its reach beyond social media into areas like virtual reality (VR). The change does not apply to its individual platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, but only to the parent company that owns them.
He took the opportunity to also announce that this new shift in the company is expected to create over 10,000 jobs in Europe.
Why this change?
First of all, because this change would allow Facebook to better position itself and to leave the field of social networks. This is also the strategy that Google had adopted in 2015, renaming the group Alphabet, with the aim of showing that Google had become more than just a search engine, but a vast company.
Mark Zuckerberg also justified his choice, explaining that his goal is to transform Facebook into a kind of giant "metaverse", "a fictional virtual universe, in which individuals could evolve in persistent and shared spaces, in three dimensions".
He had already mentioned this topic in an interview this summer for The Verge magazine: "The metaverse is going to play an important role in the future, in the same way, that the mobile Internet evolved the Internet. I think the metaverse is the next big chapter for the company.
What is the Metaverse?
Not to be confused with the Marvel universe's multiverse, the metaverse would allow Internet users, thanks to virtual reality headsets, 3D and digital avatars, to browse the Internet in an embodied way. The metaverse, in idea, would allow to see and interact with other people, as if they were physically present with us.
Facebook has already begun this project with Workroom, which aims to replace video conferencing calls with a virtual reality space.
Seeking to mask problems
In addition to the metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg might have wanted to detach himself from the worries that his company has recently.
Notably during an investigation released by The Wall Street Journal last September 13, during which it was concluded that nearly 6 million Facebook profiles had a relaxed moderation. These accounts are mostly "celebrities".
Other series of articles tarnished the company's image during the pandemic. Notably when The Washington Post revealed that Facebook withheld important information about vaccine misinformation from policymakers during the pandemic.
Instagram too has been under the spotlight, according to a report, the application harmed the mental health of teenagers, and had trouble removing hate speech from its platforms outside the United States.
The announcement of the change also created a lot of reactions on social networks, especially on Twitter with the #FacebookDead. Among these reactions, there was a lot of criticism of the name "Meta", which means "death" in Hebrew. The group still has a long way to go to achieve unanimity.
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