Facebook has announced that it changed its corporate name to “Meta” — which means “beyond” in Latin — and will soon swap its NASDAQ stock symbol from the familiar FB to MVSE.
In his founder’s letter, CEO, Mark Zuckerberg said they created the Meta umbrella brand because the Facebook brand had become too restrictive.
"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"
This corporate rebranding was needed and it makes sense due to the five other brands Meta owns, as well as the array of self-inflicted scandals Facebook has endured. Those scandals started with the Cambridge Analytica dustup in 2018; the 2019 Libra letdown; allegations of election tampering on the social media platform by paying Russians; Facebook’s recent letter to Arizona’s attorney general admitting that it allowed drug cartels and human smugglers to use the platform to sell services; and its recent whistleblower, Frances Haugen.
One aspect of the Facebook name change that hasn’t gotten much attention yet is Zuckerberg’s passing reference to cryptocurrency.
"Privacy and safety need to be built into the metaverse from day one. So do open standards and interoperability. This will require not just novel technical work -- like supporting crypto and NFT projects in the community -- but also new forms of governance,"
Zuckerberg wrote in his letter.
Separately but related, the executive leading Facebook/Meta’s Novi digital wallet project — David Marcus — took to Twitter in a series of tweets to clarify what role Meta plans to play regarding digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs within the future Metaverse.
Marcus posted in his first tweet, “Today with Facebook becoming Meta, we’re unifying our payments and financial services unit and products under the Novi brand. Let me unpack what this will mean across Meta.” Here is a screen shot of the entire thread.
To be clear, Meta intends to make Novi THE digital wallet to supposedly work with all digital assets including cryptocurrencies within its plans to create an immersive experience online. For good or bad, that might be the most significant and lasting news related to Facebook’s name change.
On The Flipside
- This Novi wallet angle is extremely significant but being majorly downplayed. Might all currencies have to be converted to Diem through the Novi wallet before purchases can be made in the Metaverse?
- U.S. Senators recently wrote to Zuckerberg telling him to end the Novi cross border payment pilot with Coinbase referenced in Marcus’ 3/7 tweet series.
- How will politicians respond to this massive Novi power play in the digital crypto-space ? Will politicians even have jurisdiction over the Metaverse?
Why You Should Care?
Facebook currently has 2.89 billion active users. Like it or not, this is a significant move into digital assets, payments, and fintech – Meta is the new 500 pound/kilo gorilla in the space.