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Meta: Facebook's high-stakes bet to save itself

Facebook's name change offers a convenient diversion as scandal plagues the platform, but the new handle is also key to the firm's costly effort to save itself from very real threats, experts said.

October 30, 2021 / 10:12 AM IST
Facebook has now officially changed its identity to Meta. [Image: Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg]

Facebook has now officially changed its identity to Meta. [Image: Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg]

Facebook's name change offers a convenient diversion as scandal plagues the platform, but the new handle is also key to the firm's costly effort to save itself from very real threats, experts said.

Jokes and vitriol poured in after CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the new corporate handle "Meta," with critics blasting it as a transparent effort to distract from its whistleblower crisis.

But Zuckerberg argued the name demonstrates the company's commitment to building its "metaverse," a virtual reality version of the internet that would make online experiences -- like chatting with a friend or attending a concert -- feel face-to-face.

Making a success of the aspirational ambition though would help address real, long-term threats like an eroding youth user base, regulatory scrutiny and even the sway fellow giants like Apple hold over Facebook.