Facebook’s new immersive online experiences and its reputation crisis
This is one of the hottest topics of the moment: Facebook’s name change, to “Meta”. The name refers to the term “metaverse”: the potential to “teleport” us into the virtual universe. But the change goes far beyond the name and appears at a time of great tension.
The fascinating metaverse of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, and the brand’s name and logo change, communicated a few days ago at the Facebook Connect conference, almost make us forget the crisis of its image – in this case, reputation – that the company is going through.
The turmoil is related to recent complaints about the lack of security on their social platforms (Facebook also owns Instagram and WhatsApp), apart from the fact that the brand “Meta”, after all, had already been registered by another company. But let’s discuss Zuckerberg’s vision first.
A new version of the mobile internet: the metaverse experience
Through Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality glasses, we will be immersed in the digital experience itself. We may even feel strong emotions, due to the fact that objects seem incredibly close to us, causing reactions.
In this video, Zuckerberg presents the metaverse vision and discusses how the next generation of platforms and media will be more immersive. Here are some examples:
Inteactions which are increasingly real
Imagine that instead of looking and talking to the screen during a video call, you can interact with the person on the other side, feeling you are actually there, wherever that person is:
One of the big bets of the metaverse is the possibility of playing immersed in the virtual, as if we existed within the game. In fact, custom avatars bring just that: a more realistic experience.
The new features promise fun possibilities like going to concerts with friends and other cultural experiences.
Virtual purchases are also planned in places open at any time.
Team meetings are more interesting thanks to the virtual environment, with the possibility of even making presentations on interactive whiteboards.
We still don’t know for sure how it might work, but imagining learning in similar scenarios to these is undoubtedly surprising:
The reverse of the metaverse
Now let’s talk about the less favorable aspects linked to switching from Facebook to Meta:
Innovative, but not so much
Although attractive, the Facebook/Meta proposal is not exactly new. Other major technology companies, such as Microsoft or Google, have tried to create an ecosystem that provides an immersive online experience. Augmented Reality, live video shopping and other features already integrated into online commerce prove it.
A change that goes far beyond the name and the image
As is customary when a brand is redesigned (rebranding), the real transformation happens on a deeper level. Zuckerberg wants the company to be recognized not only for its role as a social network, but for its technological potential to connect people.
On the other hand, many believe that this change is a strategy to address the negative image to which the social network has recently been associated.
Facebook’s reputation crisis
Fonte: Getty Images
We can’t talk about Facebook’s identity change without talking about the Facebook Files. This news was announced, precisely, after the Wall Street Journal investigation based on complaints made by Frances Haugen, former employee of the company. which has given us much to talk about.
According to the American newspaper, which published a series of revealing articles, Facebook had long known of internal security flaws on its platforms (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp). Failures that have had serious consequences for the younger public but were not given the due attention and investment on behalf of the company to address them.
Zuckerberg refuted the allegations, but as expected, this scandal has shaken public opinion regarding Facebook. Hence, the timing of this rebranding raises several questions.
According to a survey conducted in recent days with more than 2,000 Americans, 51% of the public believe that the change of brand name is an attempt to divert attention from the negative connotation that Facebook has received.
Meta: an already registered trademark?
As if that were not enough, the trademark of the new name is also being investigated, as it was discovered that the name Meta had already been registered by another brand linked to technologies and information technology.
Finally, it remains to be seen how this new era of Facebook unfolds, in which Zuckerberg’s metaverse may turn out to be the best strategy implemented by the company, not only by differentiating itself from the other technology giants but also to clean up the negative image that Facebook has accumulated over the years – especially in the last month.