Into the metaverse: Can Facebook rebrand itself?
“The dilemma they’re facing now is, do people want to be part of dystopian metaverse that’s run by a company that seems to have the kind of values that Facebook has? I don’t know if consumers really do.”
– Patti Williams, Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School
Wharton marketing professor Patti Williams isn’t sold on the stated reasons behind Facebook’s recent name change— to Meta—or the timing. Branded with a distended infinity symbol, Meta is meant to reflect the future of the world’s largest social media platform. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus now fall under the Meta umbrella.
Embroiled in controversy, Facebook is facing intense scrutiny over data privacy, monopolism, and allegations that its algorithms help to spread disinformation. The company has long been the target of policymakers who want to reform it, especially after whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before a Senate subcommittee last month about the company’s allegedly harmful practices.
“The truth is a brand name doesn’t change what’s going on in an organization,” Williams says.
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