You’ve likely seen a headline like this: “Facebook changes to Meta” and thought, “Huh?” Or, perhaps you dismissed the news as just another rebrand, thinking the name was the only real change in the matter. The truth is that there is more to Meta than meets the eye, including the forthcoming “Metaverse.” To help you understand what all this means, and whether it may impact you, here’s a crash course.
Facebook Changes To Meta
Maybe you love Facebook, or maybe you hate it. Either way, there’s no denying it’s a powerful company and the platform is an influential part of many organizations’ advertising strategies. As such, changes made by Facebook tend to impact consumers, businesses and advertisers. This is why many people took note when the company rebranded to Meta Platforms Inc. (Meta for short) in late October of 2021.
The name Facebook still exists for the social networking platform, but Meta is now the parent name of the organization. In other words, Meta owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. So… why Meta? And, frankly, who cares?
Well, the name Meta is a nod to the Metaverse (we’ll get to that in a moment), and many folks care because it signals the next evolution of the internet. Whether you use Facebook or not, this emerging wave of technology is likely to become a part of the societal and business landscapes, just like social media platforms did so many years ago.
The Metaverse: What Is It?
Now then, let’s chat about the Metaverse. The name sounds like something out of Spiderman, but the description is even more fantastical than what you’d picture in a superhero movie. Some have described it as a combination of multiple elements of technology, including virtual reality, augmented reality and video where users ‘live’ within a digital universe.
Meta describes it like this: “The Metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company.”
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, says it could take five to 10 years before the Metaverse becomes truly mainstream. But parts of it, like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), ultra-fast broadband speeds and smart glasses are already quite pervasive. You can imagine that the technology will continue to accelerate and morph into a digital world in which immersive learning, 3D social experiences and more are a normal part of our culture.
What About Advertising?
Anytime the world changes, advertising is bound to change too. But most experts (including Zuckerberg) have been quick to say that widespread adoption of the Metaverse is still a ways away. Until then, digital marketing will continue as it has, which doesn’t mean stagnation but rather continuous evolution. When the Metaverse does become a part of our world, we’ll know more about how consumers will interact with it, what new opportunities it may provide in advertising and how we can use it strategically to our advantage.