Some believe this move is a strategy through which the company aims to clear its previous anomalies, shun criticism, and solidify its position in the internet world.
However, in the words of Zuckerberg, the company’s CEO, changing the name to Meta has no connection to firing back at haters or tactics to gain people’s love. In an interview with him recorded on The Verge, he believes that it’s not a good move for a company to introduce a new brand in such an environment.
Changing the company’s name has been in his plan after the purchase of WhatsApp and Instagram. And there’s no better time to execute the scheme than now that the company is developing a Metaverse.
By changing to Meta, they want the masses to see them as a company that creates technological solutions and not just a social media company. It seems the company has learned from its past challenges and is more focused on building the future of the internet.
Metaverse has been on the Facebook plan for years. They already have the Quest VR gaming project, and they are working on improving the functionality and versatility of their Reality Labs. Moreover, the company has announced that they will be spending $10 billion this year, 2021, to fuel their Metaverse projects and research.
As a technological company with several social media platforms, they will be focusing on building a system that supports human interactions and relations. They would want to develop a platform that allows employers to connect with their workers without being present physically in their offices. Meta would like to build a Virtual environment where people could work from home in their favorite sweatpants.
In this kind of world, what will be the fate of Facebook marketing? Will there be anything like Facebook advertising? And what will be the impact of this Facebook Metaverse on social ecommerce? The following questions will be reviewed in this article based on the speculations that are presently available.
But before we begin, let’s have a clear understanding of the Metaverse.
What Is the Metaverse?
Metaverse is the internet in 3-D format or live internet. It’s more like an internet experience where you will be inside the internet instead of viewing it through your mobile screen. In other words, we can say the Metaverse is a technology in which you experience the internet the same way as you live your physical life.
Think of it this way, instead of reading a book from an e-library, Metaverse will put you in that library holding and reading the text while still seated in your bedroom. Presently, this technology is being implemented in virtual games. Facebook, now known as Meta for short, introduced the Horizon workrooms some months ago for employees to present in virtual offices using the Oculus VR headset.
The future of this innovation will allow people to join virtual concerts, attend virtual business meetings from the comfort of their houses, and take virtual trips with their loved ones. This new internet is built on Virtual and Augmented Reality principles stimulated using mobile phones, computers, sensors, glasses, and headsets.
Facebook and Metaverse
Facebook has been in the AR and VR business since 2014, when they acquired Oculus. And from that year, they have been developing games and virtual systems that will birth and be part of the envisioned Metaverse.
So far, so good, the tech giant has developed the consumer version of the Rift headset. And over the past six years, they have invented five headsets – Rift, Go, Quest, Rift S, and Quest 2.
A big win for them is the creation of the touch controller that enables people to engage in and use their hands in the Virtual reality world, which led to them publishing games such as Lone Echo and Asgard’s Wrath.
They are also working on improving their fitness VR app and enhancing the performance of their Horizons workrooms for teams and business colleagues to have better remote collaborative experiences.
Oculus was acquired simultaneously as Instagram, but it’s yet to gain recognition like the social media app. However, Facebook is not fazed by the slow spread and adoption of this new technology. They believed that this was just the beginning of a 50-year journey, and they were and are ready to see it through.
Perhaps, in 30 years, we would have the Web 3.0 that enables us to hold Virtual seminars and Shop in a virtual reality supermarket.
The Impact of The Metaverse on Facebook Marketing and Ads
Even with the change of company name, the Facebook social media app remains Facebook. Likewise, all other social media that belongs to the tech giant retains their title. However, one thing that’s not clear to users is the degree to which the Metaverse will impact social media activities, particularly advertising.
The launch of Metaverse could end or promote Facebook advertising. But it looks like it’s easier for the former to happen than the latter. It may seem the company is trying to use the Metaverse to cover up for all the lapses they couldn’t correct using their social platforms.
When the Oculus Quest 1 was launched, users could only access the platform using their Facebook account logins, discouraging many people from using it. Quest 2 was a bit different because they allowed people to access it with an account other than their Facebook account.
Presently, it seems the company has resolved to put a fine line between the Facebook app and the Metaverse. According to Mark Zuckerberg at the Connect Keynote, the company is working on upgrading their VR and AR platforms such that all people can access it whether they have or do not have a Facebook account.
Moreover, they promised to build privacy and safety into the Metaverse from day one. If they keep to this, it could be the end of Facebook advertising. Businesses will have to get on the Metaverse, as people will gladly adopt the safer system.
Facebook advertising has been experiencing some rocky roads over the past few years. And it’s gradually nearing being useless as Apple made a new iOS privacy update. The new iOS 14.5 privacy update allows Apple users to opt out from apps that may want to track them across the internet on any of their devices.
As a result, businesses are no longer getting the same return from their Facebook advertising. What if, sooner or later, other operating systems roll out the same update? Then, Facebook advertising will be as profitable as it is today.
Meanwhile, in the light of recent events, young people below the age of 35 are moving to other social platforms such as TikTok. Telegram is also gaining more popularity with over 70 million new users during the Facebook outage in 2021. This age group takes a more significant percentage of social media users. Facebook marketing is going to witness a significant fall if this generation eventually gives up on the platform.
From a different angle, businesses may not have any other choice but to keep using Facebook advertising as the cost of Metaverse advertising will be very expensive. Presently, not every business can afford the cost of using the Horizons workrooms. The Quest 2 headset cost about $300 which may not be in everyone’s budget.
Besides, none can say what will be the end of Metaverse. It could be a total flop, and in that case, businesses will have to continue with Facebook advertising.
As of this moment, no person can boldly say what the Metaverse and Facebook advertising will become. However, businesses should endeavor to stay updated with the developments in technology and be ready to adopt what’s working.
Meanwhile, as we await the future of the internet and marketing, businesses should advertise on multiple platforms and not rely on Facebook alone. If things go sideways, they will still have a platform to promote their business.