You might hate Facebook’s new name. Branding experts love it. Mostly.

Overlook Fb. Meet Meta.

Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg, the corporate’s chief govt, introduced a new title for the Silicon Valley firm that has lengthy been acknowledged by its blue icon and lowercase white f. Not anymore. Meta comes with a new emblem that appears like a barely stretched-out infinity image. Fb, Instagram, WhatsApp, and different apps owned by the corporate will stay the identical (an animated model of the brand even exhibits their icons being swept into the infinity image). Nevertheless, they’ll now function beneath the umbrella of Meta—very similar to Google and subsidiaries like Fitbit and Waymo have been working beneath the title Alphabet for the reason that 2015 Google rebrand.

[Image: Meta]

The change for Fb was hotly anticipated, and it symbolizes a new step within the firm’s growth from a social networking large to an entity that’s constructing a “metaverse”—a digital world individuals can cross out and in of seamlessly. “At the moment, we’re seen as a social media firm, however in our DNA, we’re an organization that builds expertise to attach individuals,” Zuckerberg stated at a digital convention in regards to the metaverse, which he portrayed with an array of digital simulations teetering on the perimeters of a Black Mirror episode. “Over time, I hope we’re seen as a metaverse firm.”

[Image: Meta]

The timing is handy. Fb has been beneath intense scrutiny in latest weeks, fueled partially by former worker Frances Haugen, who leaked inside paperwork revealing simply how a lot the corporate knew about its damaging affect (spreading misinformation, inciting violence in the course of the January 6 capital riots, amongst different issues). This has led some to insist that the title change is right here to distract policymakers from the corporate’s “doubtlessly legal habits.” Others see it as an indication that Fb (or I ought to say Meta) is way more involved with defending its shareholders than its customers.

However is the new title, and its accompanying emblem, any good? We reached out to 4 branding and design experts to search out out. Most of them counseled the new title. One even stated that she loves it. However as many identified, it takes greater than a new title—and a “groovy” new emblem—for an organization to erase the injury it has finished. Right here’s what they needed to say:

Debbie Millman, founder and host, Design Issues

“I so wished to hate this. I so wished to have the ability to write one thing erudite and declarative about how the new title was pointless and reactionary and past redemption. However . . . I love the title. I’m tickled by the double entendre of the infinite embedded within the notion of the metaverse and the completely self-referential-ness of meta.

“Whereas I believe the company construction and enterprise technique jogs my memory of the Alphabet/Google and Altria/Philip Morris rebrands (and the smokescreens inherent in each), the intent appears to make sense. As in all rebrands, a new id ought to characterize an evolution of imaginative and prescient and values. Whereas their imaginative and prescient is evident, I want there was extra to see with regard to potential behavioral and cultural adjustments past a fantastic title and a very groovy emblem.”

Lynn Haviland, impartial model strategist and naming professional

“It’s an umbrella title that’s obscure and huge, so it’ll embody no matter areas they’re trying to get into. In that respect, it’s a sensible transfer. For the holding firm to have the title Fb didn’t do sufficient for them as a result of it was too limiting—to not point out all the bags with the title Fb.

“However, I don’t assume it communicates a lot. I additionally assume it’s a fantastic distraction from the PR mess. If they’ll get individuals to concentrate on one thing else even for a day, it’s higher for them, however in the long run, it doesn’t quantity to something. [That said] the brand may be very cool. It captures that concept of the metaverse. It’s easy however it’s intriguing.”

Karin Hibma, strategic id designer

“Morally, Fb continues to be Fb. In keeping with Zuckerberg’s weblog publish, ‘At the moment’s announcement doesn’t have an effect on how we use or share knowledge.’ That’s the ignoble function, it’s nonetheless about them. As a reputation, and a strategic id, it’s a easy, nice resolution. Simply as Google selected Alpha and Beta mixed as Alphabet for an general company title, Meta works effectively for the formidable agenda Fb has outlined for its future.

“The crazy infinity emblem can also be a deep attain into the tradition, and forward-thinking to the infinity loop they’re imagining. This renaming is definitely extra formidable than Google’s, because it aspires to deeper that means as a substitute of simply claiming all of the letters.

“I say that is good work. Nevertheless, like all good intentions, the noble function is in utilizing that good work to resolve previous points and anticipate future complexities. I hope that with this evolution, the corporate and Zuckerberg transfer ahead with the general good of humankind of their ethical intentions.”

Min Lew, artistic director and managing director, Base Design

“At first look, it’s very direct. Everybody who’s brand-savvy goes to assume assume, Sure, it’s a change however it appears like a beauty change. However when you consider it a bit of extra, [Facebook has] extra of an institutional drawback. Deep down, I see it as a repositioning effort. They should reengage a youthful viewers. They’re combating for his or her relevance. They’re going from a social community firm to what they’re calling an experiential firm, and you may clearly see why they’re doing this.”