According to marketing and branding experts, renaming Facebook Inc. will not help the internet giant separate itself from regulatory and public scrutiny over the possible harms caused by its social networking platforms.
The Verge reported on Tuesday that the California-based company is seeking to modify its corporate identity to reflect that it now owns other profitable businesses such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus, in addition to the social media platform that made it a global household name.
Following the release of thousands of internal documents by a whistleblower, Facebook is under fire for contributing to increased polarization online by changing its content algorithm, failing to take steps to reduce vaccine hesitancy, and knowing that popular social media app Instagram was harming the mental health of teenage girls.
The impact of Instagram on teenage users was the subject of a Senate hearing earlier this month.
“Legislators and politicians are sufficiently smart to not be fooled by a rebranding,” said James Cordwell, an internet analyst at Atlantic Equities.
According to Marisa Mulvihill, head of brand and activation at Prophet, a branding and marketing consultant, renaming can be a useful technique for allowing subsidiary companies to preserve their own reputations. “Just because you rebranded,” she noted, the media and authorities “are not going to stop examining or creating reforms.”
According to The Verge, the new parent company name could represent Facebook’s intent on constructing the “metaverse,” a projected digital universe where individuals can roam and converse in a virtual environment using various devices.
It might also prevent a poor view of Facebook’s name from damaging WhatsApp, the worldwide messaging service used by roughly 2 billion people, and Oculus, the company’s virtual reality brand, according to analysts.