The Facebook Rebrand and Mark Zuckerberg’s “Metaverse”: Is the Future Entirely Virtual?

Facebook Rebrand: What is the Metaverse?

Yesterday, at company event Facebook Connect, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is undergoing a major rebrand and will here on out be named “Meta”. “Meta” comes from the Greek word meaning “beyond” and led to Zuckerberg introducing a new idea for the company, coined “the metaverse”. Zuckerberg claims that the new name will better encompass what the company does, broadening its reach beyond social media and into areas like virtual reality. The name change only applies to the umbrella company and not to many of the individual apps under it, such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

 

What is the Metaverse?

 

As it stands, the metaverse that Mark Zuckerberg speaks of, and indeed has rebranded his entire company around, does not yet exist. The concept, however, refers essentially to an increasingly digital, and virtual, way of living. In many ways, this idea does not differ vastly from technological trends we have already been seeing for some time. This mainly comprises a shift towards “alternate realities”, if you will. By this, we mean virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

 

Like many experts have done for years, Zuckerberg imagines that, in the future, a far greater portion of our day-to-day lives will be facilitated by VR. This needn’t just mean in the workplace but could pertain to virtually attending a concert or play, for example. One can’t help but wonder if the need to attend events such as these from the comfort (or safety) of one’s own home, particularly as a result of recent global events, has accelerated the advancement of huge technological shifts such as this, making Zuckerberg’s announcement and vision all the more timely and topical, despite largely championing ideas and concepts that have been around for some time.

 

Facebook in the Workplace

 

Not long ago, the name “Facebook” would foster thoughts of socialising, playing games, sharing photos and interacting with friends and family. More recently, however, Facebook has been finding its way into workplaces across the globe. 2016 saw the release of Workplace from Facebook, a unified communications offering designed to compete with the likes of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. Having just celebrated its fifth birthday this month, the platform now boasts 7 million users worldwide.

 

Furthermore, Facebook Messenger is becoming increasingly popular as a platform for companies to manage their external, customer-facing communications, with companies receiving and responding to customer queries and even making sales via this channel. It is also worth mentioning that, since 2014, Facebook has been the owner of popular messaging platform WhatsApp, which is also frequently used by modern organisations as a facilitator for external communications. It is possible that this increasing presence within our external communications could act as a “foot in the door” for Facebook’s UC offerings to find their place in many organisations’ internal unified communications and collaboration as well.

 

What Might the Future Hold?

 

Although “metaverse” could be seen as giving a new name to pre-existing ideas and technologies, the Facebook rebrand could be a clever move by Mark Zuckerberg to put the new brand at the forefront of this discussion. Zuckerberg’s talks about the metaverse also act to once again remind us that work as we know it has changed forever, with meetings becoming virtual and teams becoming remote and disparate. These changes have only been brought about quicker as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

4C Strategies – Expert Unified Communications Consultants

 

As the news of Facebook’s rebrand once again brings the future of working to the forefront of our minds, you may be considering your own organisation’s unified communications and collaboration. In this “new normal” where huge portions of your workforce are probably still working from home the majority of the time, and may continue to do so indefinitely, is it time to take stock? Is your UC solution working as well as it could be? Is it cost effective and is it best practice? Is it resilient and adaptable enough to last well into the future, whatever that future may hold?

 

(See also… The Future of Unified Communications: Is it Time to Take Stock?)

 

4C Strategies has been assisting organisations with their unified communications and collaboration for over 20 years, handling everything from needs evaluation through to strategy creation, implementation and ongoing management. To speak to one of our experts about your organisational needs, contact 4C Strategies today on 01858 438938, or email webenquiries@4c.co.uk.