Facebook changes its name and logo as Meta – Mark Zuckerberg on Metaverse

Facebook has officially changed its name, now it will be called  Meta. This was announced by Mark Zuckerberg, directly from the virtual stage of Facebook Connect 2021: “We are a company that builds technologies to create connections,” said the CEO. “Together, we can finally put  people at the heart of our technology  and together, we can unlock an incredibly bigger virtual monetization economy.” In addition to this, Zuckerberg stated that the Meta name ” reflects better who we are and what we hope to build “.

Facebook Renamed as META
Facebook Renamed as META

To many of you, this may remind you of what happened in 2015 with Google, which created the holding company Alphabet to manage various companies. Facebook, along with Instagram, Whatsapp and Oculus, will now be managed by Meta.

Facebook is no longer just a social network, and the current name doesn’t best represent everything the company does. “At the moment, our name is uniquely tied to one product,” continues Zuckerberg, “But over time I hope people see us as a metaverse company .” Changing its name will certainly help the company not to be known only for the most famous social network in the world so that it can push even more on what is the new focus of Zuckerberg: the metaverse. The CEO of Facebook (or rather, of Meta) already owns the Twitter account @meta and the website meta.com , which currently leads to a page explaining the transition announced today.

In a long post, Mark Zuckerberg explained that the structure of the company will not change,  however the way of reporting the financial results will. Starting in the last quarter of 2021, the company will report two operating segments: Family of Apps and Reality Labs. Zuckerberg further explained that starting December 1, the shares will be traded under the stock symbol MVRS. Finally, the CEO made it clear that the birth of Meta does not change in any way how the company manages or shares data.

One of the most talked-about topics of the moment is, without a shadow of a doubt, the metaverseTo create such a futuristic project, however, it is necessary to invest in the right resources: developers and engineers able to create, and design, revolutionary and innovative experiences. Facebook, during today’s Connect, unveiled some interesting future projects showing that the metaverse is something much bigger, which goes beyond the world of gaming.

It is a virtual space able to combine interconnected VR and AR elements, functional to entertainment but able to modify, at the same time, also the ecosystem of work, sociality, education, fitness and many activities that define our daily life. Building the metaverse means building virtual reality not only within a single application but in a general IT platform that, like a PC or smartphone, allows to aggregate within it different types of experiences, even completely different from each other.

Progress on this front is remarkable. Today, at Facebook Connect 2021, the company extended and broadened its vision of this new virtual reality. Among the novelties, there will be a more social Home space, a new platform for apps, Quest for Business (which will be accessed through the new Work Accounts), a package of fitness tools (for those who use and play Beat Saber Expert + for example), new tools to allow developers to create incredible augmented reality experiences and more. While there is still a long way to go, Facebook is taking the first concrete steps so that virtual reality can include this new range of experiences in the shortest possible time.

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Whether it’s a cabin in the mountains, an apartment in the city, or even a walk inside  Myst, with Oculus Quest 2 it is possible to live incredible experiences at home… and soon it will be possible to do it with your friends. Horizon Home, in fact, will offer the opportunity to meet friends, family and loved ones to watch a movie, a TV series, or simply join POPULATION: ONE with your team.

In addition, the Menlo Park company is improving some features to allow anyone to build and customize their own personal space to welcome their friends . This feature is still a bit far away, but it gives an idea of ​​where Facebook wants to go with virtual reality in the coming years.

As for the current Horizon, however, in addition to the already known  Horizon Worlds, Horizon Workrooms and Horizon Home, Venues also arrives which will allow you to see, and experience, live events, from the comfort of your home.

Beyond entertainment, Facebook is expanding the features related to virtual reality to the world of work. As with mobile phones and PCs, efforts are being made to make the platform as flexible as possible so that it can include as many uses as possible through a single device.

The company will soon begin testing Quest for Business, a new suite of functions designed specifically for businesses on Oculus Quest 2. The main peculiarity is that you will be able to log in to Quest 2 with a business account, which will allow you to work and collaborate with your colleagues and have access to productivity and performance apps from the Oculus store such as Horizon Workrooms and Gravity Sketch. Quest for Business will also allow companies to access the dedicated platform features they need, such as account management, mobile device management (MDM) solutions, SSO integration, and more.

The company is paying particular attention to the development of Quest for Business, precisely to make it functional at best. The program will be finalized by the end of the year during a closed beta period, and will then be made available more widely in 2022, in order to launch it publicly by 2023.

Finally, Facebook is introducing a new personal workspace to Horizon Home, so they can transform and adapt their hybrid workspaces to more professional work environments. This will be present in the settings, where you can select “Virtual environment”, install the “Studio” option and finally customize the environment with a personal logo or motivational posters, to recreate a virtual office where you can hold your meetings.

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Facebook is committed to breaking down inter-platform barriers and limits , with a series of services available on smartphones and laptops, which can also be used while wearing the headset. Services like Slack, Dropbox, Facebook, and Instagram, will work in VR as a 2D dashboard app in Horizon Home. You will be able to chat with work colleagues, access different files and update social feeds without ever having to remove your viewer or leave your home environment.

In addition, VR will offer the opportunity to have more space and flexibility in using these services than normal screens. Facebook, Instagram, Smartsheet and Spike will be available in the store starting today, while Dropbox, Monday.com, MURAL, My5 (UK), Pluto TV and Slack and many more will arrive soon. This is just the first step, according to Facebook, to make the Home environment more functional for everyone.

More and more people are changing or supplementing their workout routines, replacing exercise in the gym with VR. And it is precisely for this reason that Facebook next year will launch a new set of accessories called the Active Pack for Oculus Quest 2 which will include new handles for the Touch controllers, which will allow you to monitor and control your physical activity. In addition, a new interface optimized for exercise will be released.

In addition, the super-acclaimed Supernatural has recently integrated a new boxing mode and before the end of the year, a FitXR fitness studio and bodyweight exercises will be added to this in Player 22 by Rezzil, which has helped train several professional athletes.

Virtual reality is not only fun, business and fitness but also a powerful educational tool, and Wander, Tokyo Origami or Titans of Space PLUS are proof of this.

However, building these kinds of experiences takes time, effort, and most of all, talented people. That’s why Facebook will invest $ 150 million over three years to build an ecosystem that supports and educates the metaverse, with the aim of training the next generation of AR / VR creators, revolutionizing educational modalities, through high-quality immersive experiences and increasing access to education through technology.

To enable people to acquire the right skills to create AR and VR content, Facebook is implementing synergies between Unity developers, the Create with VR for Educators tool, and training with Oculus Quest 2 devices for nonprofits and educational institutions. Finally, the company is also partnering with a large number of institutions to help them through immersive and collaborative learning experiences.

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