The name change of Facebook represents an attempt to get rid of what employees themselves consider a toxic brand and that affects the perception of their products.

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg presented the future not only of his company, but of the Internet. The so-called “metaverse” aims to unite the real and the virtual world, allowing us to create our own identity and unite in chats, video calls, video games and even concerts with our friends and family. All this, giving special importance to the NFTs and virtual content associated with our account on any site.

Zuckerberg explained that from now on, his company was going to focus on making that idea a reality, and therefore it made sense to change the name to better reflect its goals: Facebook is now called Meta .

But as revealed by CNBC , based on internal sources, this is a change that the company’s own employees would have asked to get rid of the baggage of the “Facebook” brand. Some employees even consider that Facebook was a “tax” that they had to suffer on their products, even though they had nothing to do with the social network.

Is easy to see why. Every time we open Instagram, WhatsApp, or put on an Oculus device, we see the Facebook brand, which is increasingly associated with privacy scandals and the worst of social networks. Recent revelations, based on leaked Facebook documents showing serious problems in content moderation, censorship and human trafficking, have not helped .

Ironically, the reason the Facebook brand appears in those apps in the first place was because Zuckerberg wanted to “clean up” it after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, associating it with community-loved brands like Instagram or WhatsApp. That now works against him, and he runs the risk of those brands ending up “messed up” by association. Instagram has suffered the most from this, and its marketing division asked for concessions such as making the Facebook brand smaller or even removing it entirely, but their requests were not approved.

Facebook, toxic brand
Soon, Facebook will disappear from those sites and we will only see “Meta”; Facebook as a brand will continue to exist, but contained only in the social network and without appearing in the rest of the company’s products.

In other words, Facebook has become a toxic brand, and Zuckerberg has isolated it so that it does not affect the rest . Although it seems exaggerated, this has already happened at least once: at the beginning of the year, when WhatsApp introduced new references to Facebook in its terms of use. Although in practice they were not great changes, the mere presence of the brand was enough for users to reject them, due to suspicions of espionage and use of user data, against which WhatsApp has been fighting all year.

According to anonymous sources, Facebook had the same problem with Facebook Portal , the smart speaker with a screen; Internal studies showed that branding it Facebook reduced public confidence in the product. In the near future, the device will be renamed the Meta Portal.

The big question, of course, is whether a simple name change will be enough to change this perception of the brand.

By Rak Esh

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