Facebook changed its name to Meta; see other companies that have changed their names, including Google, Pepsi, Netflix, and more.
On Thursday, 28 October 2021, at Connect 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced the change to Facebook’s parent company name and introduced Meta — bringing apps and technologies under one new company brand.
So, Facebook, Inc. is now Meta Platforms, Inc. — Meta for short. Zuckerberg, at Facebook Connect —the company’s virtual and augmented reality developer conference— said:
“From now on, we’re going to be metaverse first, not Facebook. As our new brands start showing up in our products, I hope that people come to know the Meta brand and the future that we stand for.
“Today, we are seen as a social media company, but in our DNA, we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started.
“We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet. We’ll be able to feel present – like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are. We’ll be able to express ourselves in new joyful, completely immersive ways.”
According to Facebook’s blog site, Meta’s focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.
“Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology,” the company said.
In a founder’s letter, Mark Zuckerberg shared more about this vision to the world.
Sometimes, companies tend to rename themselves for certain reasons because, as expected, a new name suggests a lot of things.
The name change comes after a former employee of Facebook leaked damaging documents showing the company knew its brands such as Instagram harmed young people but chose to focus more on profit-making than the safety of people.
You can read more here: Frances Haugen: 5 female whistleblowers that shook tech companies this decade.
A name change could reflect new business ambitions, or it could signal a corporate restructuring, or it could be that a company seeks to distance itself from a sullied brand. Either way, there’s always a reason for the name change.
Just like Facebook changing its name to Meta, other companies have changed their names, learn about some of them below.
Google to Alphabet
In 2015 Google changed its parent company’s name to Alphabet. Cofounder Larry Page gives the reason for the rebrand in a press release and according to him, the new parent name will effectively be a holding company for Google and its various businesses — YouTube, Android, etc.
He said, “We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search! We also like that it means alphabet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark), which we strive for!”
Qwikster to Netflix
Netflix was founded in 1997 as Qwikster, a DVD rental company through the mail, but a decade later it began offering streaming services on-demand. It is now the most used platform in the industry.
In 2011 the company announced a 60 percent increase in plans and separated its services on streaming from its services on Qwikster (DVD). A worldwide rejection forced the company to cancel the raise and withdraw from Qwikster, which became the symbol of the controversy.
Blue Ribbon Sports to Nike
In the sporting world, Nike has become one of the most popular brands with its famous tick that stands as an emblem of strength, speed, and victory. However, you’d be surprised to know that it was once called Blue Ribbon Sports.
The founders — track athlete Phil Knight, and his coach, Bill Bowerman — started the company back in the Sixties, with that name. The name change came a few years later, in 1971 when they were right on the brink of renaming it Dimension Six.
An employee suggested last-minute that they go for Nike instead, after the Greek goddess of victory. According to the employee, the name change came to him in a dream. Blue Ribbon Sports and Dimension Six were swiftly consigned to the history books.
Brad’s Drink to Pepsi
Caleb Bradham concocted the fizzy drink in his North Carolina drugstore and decided to borrow from his surname to name the drink. Eventually, it was named Brad’s Drink.
Five years later Bradham rebranded the drink to Pepsi-Cola, ‘Pepsi’ coming from the word dyspepsia, meaning indigestion, as he claimed the ‘healthy cola’ did wonders for digestion.
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