Facebook Inc. was founded in 2004 and 17 years later, in October 2021, the company declared it was changing its name to Meta. The company was named after the first platform that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of now Meta, established – the famous social media Facebook. As the brand expanded its portfolio with other popular companies and apps, the creators decided to rebrand. On June 9th, 2022 Zuckerberg announced the final step of the rebranding on his Facebook page – the company’s stock ticker was changed from $FB to $META.
We’ll explore what that means and how it may influence the Meta stocks.
Why Did Facebook Inc. Become Meta?
Zuckerberg announced the change of name, and direction of the company, at the Connect 2021 event. According to his statement, the new name aims to promote the goals of the whole brand – to be a social technology company. Under the name of Meta, the companies and apps, along with new technologies, are going to help people connect with each other in the metaverse.
What Is the Metaverse?
The term “metaverse” was introduced by the science fiction author Neal Stephenson at the end of the last century. What the metaverse is, is a virtual world where people can interact through an avatar version of themselves, by using technology like virtual reality and augmented reality headsets. The more recent spike in the popularity of the metaverse can be connected with the development of Web 3.0 – the next step in the evolution of the Internet where people take an active part in communication, without big corporations ruling the online network. Now the metaverse is becoming an increasingly popular topic – companies want to participate in the development of technologies that allow people to communicate in a virtual reality that resembles our own but uses advanced devices to create the virtual worlds.
It’s already possible to buy virtual land and meet your friends in the virtual world. Even countries have expressed interest in the metaverse and at the end of 2021 Barbados and South Korea entered the new reality.
The rising interest of online users for Web 3.0 and the metaverse may have pushed the company, Meta, to participate in this current technological revolution. However, Zuckerberg’s company made the first steps back in 2019 when it introduced the VR world called Horizon Worlds (first named Facebook Horizon). This free online game allows people to create their avatars in the metaverse and interact together in the game.
Unpopular Opinions About Why Facebook Became Meta
The company made the first steps towards the metaverse with the game it introduced in 2019. However, after Facebook Inc. became officially Meta, different people raised the suspicion that it wasn’t the wish to participate in the metaverse that pushed Zuckerberg to change the brand’s name, as much as another reason.
Meta is one of the Big Five American technology companies (known as FAANG before, F standing for Facebook Inc.), but also one of the most valuable businesses in the world. When it was established, it was named after the social media Zuckerberg introduced. In the following years, the Meta company started acquiring other big companies and applications but remained with the name of Facebook. According to critics, this was the reason why Meta changed its name – because it wanted society to focus on the brand as a whole, instead of only on the social media.
Facebook remains one of the most popular platforms today not only for people to share their lives but for businesses to advertise as well. However, the company has had reoccurring issues through the years, concerning users’ privacy, as people weren’t informed how their data was being used or their activity on other websites was tracked by Facebook. One of the most famous scandals, concerning Facebook’s practices with users’ data, exploded in 2018 when it was revealed that for years the data of millions of users was collected without their consent by Cambridge Analytica.
There have been other problems with the most popular social media of Meta as they haven’t been able to moderate the content on the platform, providing a space for fake news to spread. The issues with Facebook are believed to be the real reason why the whole company decided to change its name to Meta. According to skeptics, Mark Zuckerberg wanted to put the social media out of the spotlight and instead try to show to people that his other brands weren’t connected that closely with it.
The real motives of Mark Zuckerberg and the whole Meta brand can only be guessed. He may have wanted to join a sector with very high potential, especially since people recognized the need to communicate through other methods than meeting in person since the pandemic began. He could also have wanted to distract people from the issues the most popular social media has and try to make a profit out of his other companies. While nothing can be said for certain, the metaverse is developing very fast and Meta is definitely in a winning niche, it only depends on them how they’ll take advantage of this.
What Does Trade Under $META Mean?
The Meta stocks can be bought by anyone, as it’s a public company. This means that the company offers its shares on exchanges under a stock ticker symbol. The ticker symbols for stocks represent an abbreviation of the brand name and could feature letters but also numbers, and every company can be searched through them on exchanges. Until June 9th, 2022, the Meta company traded under the $FB stock ticker, the one that was introduced from the beginning. However, yesterday, it was announced that the ticker symbol for Meta was changed to $META. This may be counted as the final step of the company’s rebranding, shaking off all the remaining connections with its old name.
What Changes When $FB Became $META?
The answer to what change does $META bring is almost none actually. In concerns to the whole Meta brand, it won’t change anything. However, it may bring a slight change for the traders of Meta stocks. Before, if you looked for the stocks of Meta, you’d have to go some exchange and type $FB for them to appear. Since yesterday, however, if you type $FB, the Meta company won’t show up. You’ll have to type $META to get results. In reality, the inconvenience is not that big, since you can spell both Meta and $META and get the same results, as the new ticker symbol is just the capitalized name of the company.
Here’s an example of the search results on the American stock exchange. If you type $FB you won’t get the results you’re looking for:
If you type $META, META or Meta, the first result that appears is the company we’ve discussed here.
How Will Be the $META Stocks Affected?
When it was announced that the company is changing its name to Meta, the price of the shares of Meta increased, as buyers approached them with new interest. However, it wasn’t the shares of the right Meta company, people got confused and bought the shares of Meta Materials, trading under $MMAT.
Now that $META is the symbol for Meta, both corresponding with each other, people may find it easier to know which company to support. Here’s a live chart of the $META stock price to see how the Meta shares are behaving after the new symbol.
However, it’s worth mentioning that the rebranding of Facebook Inc. to Meta hasn’t affected the stock prices only positively. In February 2022 it was reported that the $META shares suffered losses worth $500 billion after the name of the brand changed. That’s why it can’t be predicted for certain whether the $META stock ticker will boost the price of the company, as people can now easily recognize the brand on stock exchanges, or have the opposite effect. For some, this could even mean a little to no change but only an inconvenience when searching the old $FB symbol.
Is Now Facebook Inc. Completely $META?
In reality, the change of the ticker symbol to $META could bring the most significance probably to the Meta company only. This can be counted as the last step in changing the brand’s identity and trying to cut ties with Facebook as the main association. Many people still refer to the whole company by its old name so it may take some time and more effort than branding everything with $META for the vast community to stop thinking about Facebook as an owner of everything company-related. The future remains unclear whether the new identity of Meta will also provide more transparency in the company, improve the faulty practices the Facebook social media and the whole brand are associated with, and create something new. The metaverse is a sector that is growing with unimaginable speed, so if the Meta company really has decided to put their funds into development in it, we may expect many new projects from them in the future.