Internet and social media juggernaut Facebook has revealed a corporate name change, with company chief executive Mark Zuckerberg tonight unveiling a new infinity symbol-inspired logo design.
While the Facebook app will retain its name, its near-$1tn parent company will from now onward be called “Meta”; the move is similar to how Google rebranded to Alphabet, where it kept the name for the search engine but changed the identity of the umbrella brand.
According to Zuckerberg, Meta’s goal will be to bring the “metaverse to life”, where Facebook is no longer just a social networking app but a whole host of products and technologies that will collectively usher in a new online world, one in which virtual reality (VR) will play a more significant role.
“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,” the company reckons.
“Right now our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything we’re doing today, let alone in the future. Over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards,” wrote Zuckerberg in a letter published on the company’s new website.
Adding: “From now on, we will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first. That means that over time you won’t need a Facebook account to use our other services. As our new brand starts showing up in our products, I hope people around the world come to know the Meta brand and the future we stand for. I used to study Classics, and the word ‘meta’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘beyond’. For me, it symbolizes that there is always more to build, and there is always a next chapter to the story.”
Facebook’s rebrand comes at a time when the company has experienced one PR crisis after another, from being issued with a $5bn fine for “deceiving” users by the U.S. government’s Federal Trade Commission, to the more recent “Facebook papers”, where a company whistle-blower leaked internal documents that evidenced how the social platform was damaging teenage mental health as well as spreading online hatred, some of which had caused ethnic violence, for example, in the form of rabid Islamophobia in countries like India and Myanmar.
However, politics and judgement aside, the Facebook - Meta rebranding is a perfect showcase of how rebranding is 100% crucial to the evolution of any businesses, especially during crisis or stagnation. And let's all face it, evolution is inevitable in the face of consumer needs and technological advancement. The question we should really focus on, is not 'To condemn or not to condemn', but 'To keep up or fall behind'.
And now, onwards to something more fun, let's take a quick look at the evolution of the Facebook brand. It really comes to show the level of conviction they hold that drove them to give up the overall brand identity of 18 years.
The first logo featured the original name of the project, Facemash. The name was given in white capital letters over a maroon background.
The new website, which replaced the Facemash, adopted a somewhat unusual logo. Here, you could see the lettering “thefacebook” (without space) in light blue over the dark blue background. Strangely, the name was placed between two square brackets, wink wink fellow coders.
“The” disappeared, as did the square brackets. The Facebook team must've quickly realized that their target audience, unlike themselves, are not coders. So the reference does not fly. Something we at Pulse Branding is very conscience about in our consulting services:
'When your internal team, is not your target audience, you have to shift your perspective and try to see things from your market's eyes.'
Besides the text change, the new color combination of blue and white also created an even more pronounced feeling of purity and youth, and it inspires one to go for bigger endeavors. Therefore, the Facebook logo, as well as many other known icons and logos, which have a similar color palette, uses this combination to express optimism and determination to follow through with their strategy.
The type was slightly updated. While the most notable update was the new “a,” other letters also underwent subtle modifications.
The redesign of 2019 evolved the color palette of the Facebook logo and switched the composition. Today the light blue wordmark is placed on a white background, looking fresh and dynamic. As for the icon, it was also changed and the square shape was replaced by a circular, with the same lighter shade of blue (two versions of the icon are available — a flat one, and a gradient).
At Pulse Branding, we believe as businesses and the market evolve, it's crucial to ensure that we must keep our branding updated whenever the the Product - Brand - Market alignment is out sync.
We're a team of creative nerds that's passionate about helping our clients go through that evolutionary process as smoothly and painlessly as possible. If you're interested in learning more, just go ahead and send us an inquiry, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.