The “thumbs up” is down outside Facebook’s, ahem, Meta’s office complex at One Hacker Way in Menlo Park. The “thumbs up” was the old Facebook, the mark of its ubiquitous “Like” button that defined the original social network, but it has become a tarnished symbol.
In its place is a new logo that represents Meta, the next iteration of Facebook Inc. that banks on virtual reality and holograms to dominate computing within the next 10 years. The Meta sign uses the traditional Facebook blue hue, a nod to its past. The Meta logo is meant to be viewed in 3D, like a Mobius strip; it creates an infinite loop, and when viewed from the front it resembles an amorphous “M”—for Meta, not for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, according to the description of the design on a Facebook blog post about the changes.
Since the official rebrand was revealed on Thursday, it has become even clearer that Facebook is making a sweeping break from its prior self in becoming Meta. Now, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are brought to consumers from Meta, not from Facebook. Executive titles will now reflect their roles at Meta, not Facebook. The Facebook corporate Twitter account is now @meta.
And to fully distance the new “metaverse”-themed company from the social network’s name, Facebook Reality Labs is simply Reality Labs, the division that comprises most of the experimental projects that will come to comprise Meta’s metaverse. Also in the rebrand, Oculus Quest VR devices are called Meta Quest. Facebook’s Portal devices, the internet-connected communication screens, are called Meta Portals.
“It’s more than a change to a logo or a new tagline or a new color palette,” said Michelle Klein, VP of global consumer marketing at Meta, formerly Facebook, speaking during a phone interview this week. “It’s fundamental across the whole company and it really is signifying that new chapter, not just for the company that was Facebook, now Meta, but the future of social technology for people.”
There are few rebrands that garner as much attention as Facebook’s did. The company has 3.6 billion people using its apps monthly, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. The apps came to define the mobile web, where people connect through phones for business, media and relationships. Facebook’s “Like” and share buttons became icons of the digital data economy built around the mobile web, affixed to millions of websites outside of Facebook. But they also became symbols of a potentially sinister side to Facebook—its surveillance side.
The typography at least will be familiar to some, because the font for “Meta” is the same one used on Facebook’s old corporate branding. And the same blue is used in the Meta infinity logo. Klein said the legacy of Facebook apps will remain.
“We’re not moving away for our origins and our roots,” Klein said.