Facebook today announced that it’s changing its name to Meta. The rebrand comes as the the company shifts its primary focus toward building the metaverse and the XR products that will support it. The Oculus brand will be phased out, with the Quest product line becoming Meta Quest.

Facebook has been increasingly signaling the shift toward its forward-looking metaverse efforts, and today that shift has culminated in a complete rebrand of the company.

Henceforth, the company will go by the name Meta, while the name Facebook will be reserved for the company’s social VR platform specifically, alongside its other products like Instagram and WhatsApp.

The goal, the company says, is to realign its name with its primary objective of building out the metaverse—a sort of immersive internet that the company believes wholeheartedly is the future of human communication and interaction.

The Oculus brand, which has existed alongside the company’s other products, will be phased out in order to allow the company’s metaverse and XR efforts to be positioned under Meta as the parent brand.

Oculus was acquired by Meta back in 2014 and after a few years of relative independence it began steadily merging with the company. The decision to dissolve the Oculus name into Meta finally brings a symbolic end to the company which was partly responsible for reigniting the VR industry as we know it today.

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Image courtesy Meta

Meta’s VP of XR, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, explained how the rebranding will trickle down to (former) Oculus products.

For one, the company’s leading VR product, Oculus Quest, will become Meta Quest starting in early 2022.

Other ‘Oculus’ branded properties like the Oculus smartphone app will become the Meta Quest app in due time.

“We all have a strong attachment to the Oculus brand, and this was a very difficult decision to make. While we’re changing the brand of the hardware, Oculus will continue to be a core part of our DNA and will live on in things like software and developer tools,” wrote Bosworth.

Additionally Meta is pulling its overall XR organization (formerly Facebook Reality Labs) under the Meta brand as well, which will be known going forward as Meta Reality Labs. Meanwhile, the company’s social VR apps have steadily shifted under the Meta Horizon brand, which now includes Horizon Worlds, Horizon Workroom, Horizon Venues, and the newly announced Horizon Home which will enhance the Quest home space with social features.

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  • Anonymous

    FB wants a big pie in the metaverse, that’s fine. They did the most in the industry moving VR to a profitable ecosystem for developers.

    But this name change is plain lazy and lame. It also does nothing to erase FB’s negative impressions, if not further accelerating it as if they want to claim themselves to be the owner of metaverse. What happened to Mark’s talk about humility over the years during the show?

    Oh and the show was boring as hell too.

  • Frozenbizkit

    Screw Meta and Screw Facebook. I will never buy any of the hardware they put out.

    • GunnyNinja

      ok

    • Lucidfeuer

      Nobody should, but many people would let their kid be r*ped by fascistic corporation if that meant not losing their FB or Netflix account. Although if you look at the comment, nobody human trusts Facebook.

  • If it could keep Facebook for its “social” platform, then why couldn’t it just leave Oculus alone as its AR/VR platform too? >:-(

    • Jim Cherry

      theres a big difference in revenue that probably lead them to think Oculus brand value was lower than the other 3

  • Till Eulenspiegel

    Good news, starting next year, you don’t need Facebook account to log in anymore.

    They changed their name to Meta, so you sign in with Meta account. LOL, tricky move from Zuckerberg.

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  • xXx

    I lost 1,5h of my life. Marketing overpower that confernece.

    • Anonymous

      The only thing exciting part was GTA which made up for 0.00001% of the time, using literally less than 3 sentences.

      I get they want to do Metaverse. But Mark must be on crack thinking their current biggest user base – gamers – would ever feel excited about some fake impression videos decades away.

  • Yencito

    Is it possible that you hate this opinion… but I think that without all the money that Facebook invested in VR, it might have died. Maybe Sony and Valve they would never have made a move. We need somebody moving it, to wake up the competition.

    • silvaring

      It was Palmer Luckey though, Facebook just financed the race after Palmer had taken the rocket to space, so their contribution is pretty vacuous isn’t it?

      • Anonymous

        To be fair big companies carry a lot of BS from Wall Street investors so FB willing able to operate at a loss for Oculus is still quite an important achievement.

        But it doesn’t cover how bad and boring yesterday’s presentation was.

    • Anonmon

      Let me tell you and Silvaring likely what would have happened if Facebook had never got their dirty little mitts into VR and ####ed it for the rest of us. It both would have been for the better, and worse. And I say this as someone who despises what Facebook has done to VR, and I guess generally with their whole mass manipulation thing as well.

      VR would never have “died”. Period. Luckey isn’t the singular reason why VR is the way it is today either. Frankly, as much as certain groups would like to deny it, what made (early especially) modern VR the way it was is largely down to Valve. The OG Vive is literally Valve’s then current prototype gussied up for a consumer release. They were the ones dumping Steam cash into VR R&D for years. When Luckey was showing of hacked together prototypes on MTBS3D’s fourms, Valve went right ahead and shared notes on what they were doing. If Valve weren’t, Valve, and basically any other company, they probably would have bought the fledgling Oculus long before Facebook. But instead, Valve wanted the innovation and competition of another entity. Then Facebook being fed up being second banana because they had to exist on other people’s hardware wanted to become like Google on phones / Windows on PC and shoved themselves right in early so they could get to work.
      Without Luckey, VR would have still happened, we’d all just be stuck on Valve Time waiting for that to happen.

      As for this alternate future, VR as a whole would have likely largely stuck to being a PC accessory first and foremost, with standalone being nothing but a expensive curiosity (Any Standalone HMDs would have to be running x86). Inside-out would have happened eventually, but it likely would have sucked harder for longer (Inside out was seen as a complete joke for a number of years before Facebook released HMD’s with decent inside-out tracking). Oculus would likely still exist, and we’d of had a CV2 and CV3 by now. What they would have looked like, who knows. They’d probably be doing OK for themselves, but would look nothing like they became, to which I mean it wouldn’t have turned into a meaningless brandname front for Facebook before being discarded entirely.
      Valve would have still done whatever Valve wanted to do (Remember, infinite Steam money) and released headsets and hardware and such. People would have bought them. People playing Sim games with their simulator rigs would have still loved them. Alyx would have still happened. A decent proportion of VR games on Steam would have still happened. Games made with PSVR in mind would have made their way to PC eventually.
      And VRChat and it’s contemporaries would have still existed, with the only difference being there being no VRChat Quest version to cause a hard split in that playerbase. Which while would have lowered raw player numbers, most of that loss would have been Quest kiddies.

      What we wouldn’t have is all the content Facebook brought by way of dumping massive amounts of money into it. So none of the later (if any) Oculus exclusive games, 360 stereo video, any of that. Anything high profile Facebook practically single handedly funded wouldn’t have happened. And because no ARM powered standalone HMD with a drive to try and Own The Industry, there wouldn’t be any significant amount of VR software written for ARM. I don’t know what would have become of the XR line of chips from Qualcomm, but they certainly wouldn’t have had the spread through a Facebook product, if existed at all how it did.
      Also would mean a handful of studios would still be independent now, making all sorts of games that will now never happen.

      High end hardware would still have happened largely how it did, though the very recent push for standalone in HMD’s from other companies (XR2 in a Pimax headset, really?) might not have happened, certainly in the way it did anyway. Hardware prices would trickle down as old hardware became obsolete and the used market became the go-to way to get affordable entry level hardware. Which while that still happened anyway, there wouldn’t be a impossibly cheap standalone headset for many people to point their fingers to instead, especially the used adverse.

      Would “VR” have been smaller? Likely. Definitely if it had been Valve largely leading the “Dump infinite cash into R&D” charge instead of Facebook going absolute ham because they’re driven to absolutely dominate to own “””The Metaverse””” or whatever. And it still would have been almost strictly a thing only PC enthusiasts with the hardware to run it would have had a interest in, so no Best Buy displays or whatnot.

      I for one would have preferred that future instead of the one we got, but I understand what many other people want from VR lines up more with what Facebook gave them. We straight up wouldn’t have had as many people with headsets, because not everyone wants to get a gaming PC and put forth effort into hardware setup. So smaller and more filled with tech enthusiasts instead of closer to a mass market like it is now. Reading really old RoadtoVR articles would give a good idea of the kind of vibe this would all have.

    • kontis

      Without Palmer and Valve there would be NO facebook VR.

      Zuckerberg tried Valve’s VR room and it blew his mind and made him a believer in XR – the sole reason he acquired Oculus. He wasn’t very impressed with Oculus’ own prototypes back then and requested to poach everyone they can from Valve.

      But before that Palmer changed Valve and Carmack with his prototype. Valve was doing AR at that time and Rift prototype changed their vision drastically. Carmack started believing in cheap hardware after Palmer sent him a prototype, instead of focusing on microdisplays (he then even trashed Sony HMZ in comparison with Rift at E3 2012 and almost caused Palmer to be hired by Sony).

    • Lucidfeuer

      If anything, Facebook stalled VR and made it head towards a very bleak, disinvestable future, that might kill it during the 2020s. Nobody wants the worst consumer tech company to be in charge of the metaverse, that they don’t have the vision nor talent to develop anyway.

      • Jim Cherry

        mobile phones stalled vr just look how much damage low effort solutions did plus palmer and john were hoping that smart phone tech advancement would lead them past consoles and pcs and that never panned out.

        • Lucidfeuer

          I think that mobile vr exploration was not the end goal but more of derivative experimental path which in fact led to lots of development and innovation.

          As for Luckey’s and Carmack’s projections, they were simply wrong because not only was the technology not ready or mature, but it also got diverted in various ways (for exemple, rather than mobile vr, I think that the differentiation between AR Glasses and VR headset was a non-sensical fragmentation), until Facebook just stalled the whole market with ultra-conservative and disappointing iterations which led to every other major manufacturers and lots of advertisers to just disinvest (Microsoft, Samsung, Xiaomi, Google etc…).

          Now we’re at a point where more than a stalled technology, the lack of vision and evilness of Facebook completely killed the gas on VR (at least this evening, the ads and brands agency people I talked with were completely unimpressed if not cringed at “Meta”)

  • Anonmon

    “Oculus was acquired by Meta back in 2014 and after a few years of relative independence it began steadily merging with the company.”
    To be factual going forward with news in the future with “Meta” instead of “Facebook” in publications about “Meta” that’s fair to be professionally factual, but bruh, don’t be doing Facebook’s job for them by literally trying to rewrite history, that’s not how that works. Facebook bought Oculus in 2014 and subsequently killed it. This “Meta” did not exist at that time.
    Or you could do what you guys do with the Pimax headsets and have the quotations around “Meta” in all future articles and have the disclaimer at the bottom that for all intents and purposes it’s literally Facebook behind a cheap dollar store mask, but spruced up in a professional manner.

    • wow

      pimax is still the best headset tbh. I don’t know what it’s like to deal with the company since I bought a test unit from a small store but in the past 3 years of having it. I haven’t had any problems, and it’s been plug and play with auto updates and auto settings on normal fov.
      Sites like UploadVR unnecessarily tried to kill all Facebook competition.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t care how good Pimax spec may be, it is a Chinese company and highly likely is loaded with Chinese spyware.

        • sfmike

          “Highly likely” is a fact based on the usual internet fact checking and “conservative” version of truth in media. I’ve met and dealt with the people at Pimax and have been more than satisfied in their honesty and customer service. Granted they have a problem meeting deadlines but what small company doesn’t. Don’t pretend you are now using and will use a HMD in the future that is NOT manufactured in China as our corporate masters do not want to pay American workers a livable wage and benefits but you still trust their integrity anyway for some strange reason.

          • guest

            Yeah, he should get over it, that almost all hardware is made in some foundry over there, even his quest…

        • wow

          Facebook is the China of the western world when it comes to invasive privacy concerns. I can’t think of a western company worse.

          • Charles

            Google.

    • guest

      Yeah, revisionist history. Back then Meta brand was owned by some kick starter in Mother’s basement. Very confusing…

    • Jistuce

      In a different article, I would phrase it as “Oculus was acquired by Meta(then known as Facebook)” personally. Or “Facebook(now known as Meta)”, though I prefer the other way around.
      But right now, in this moment, there’s no ambiguity. It is literally an article about Facebook changing their name, so everyone reading knows Meta and Facebook are exactly the same thing.

  • wow

    the future is scary

    • Charles

      Facebook->Meta->IOI (from Ready Player One)

  • kontis

    Thank you, John Carmack, for pushing internally so hard for OPENNES and promoting wild west libertarian internet from the 90s as an approach to XR and concepts of future metaverse.

    We would probably still have to patch Virtual Desktop like some pirates with cracked copies if not for your activism and there definitely wouldn’t be the App Lab.

    I realize Facebook will never open the floodgates for app market on Quest like you want, but at least you are successfully steering them in that direction and it really matters.

  • Cl

    Meta quest sounds so bad. I hope they lose sales because of the dumb name.

    • Jim Cherry

      itll more likely be just Quest (version #) with Meta being either implied or just in smaller print somewhere on the device/box

  • doug

    Mark could have spread joy and truth across the globe with his creation, but he found out anger and lies were more profitable and so went with that. Meta has a monster at the helm.

    • Lucidfeuer

      It’s not Zuckerberg’s influence so much, Zuck being a highly intellectually and emotionally limited person with no vision. He was just lucky after stealing Facebook, that it works and did nothing since then if not be the face of the worst consumer tech company.

      No, the real evil person are the people in the stockholder’s seats…

  • MosBen

    Man, hopefully in the next few years Congress will get around to regulating these tech companies.

  • The brand that took me to VR. I’m so sad it is going to be canceled out

    • ViRGiN

      It’s good that they are distancing themselves from guy who is working on killer drones for the military, and trump crowdfunder. Palmer became double irrelevant now. Good news.

  • Charles

    “Oculus was acquired by Meta back in 2014”
    No, it was acquired by Facebook. Meta didn’t exist yet.