Changing Facebook’s name will not deter scrutiny: Experts
Renaming Facebook Inc (FB.O) is unlikely to enable the tech giant to distance itself from regulatory and public scrutiny around the potential harms caused by its social media apps, marketing and branding experts.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_Tech publication The Verge reported on Tuesday that the firm is planning to change its corporate branding to reflect that as well as owning the social media platform that made it a name, it also now includes other thriving businesses like Instagram, and Oculus.
The company declined to comment regarding the report on the possible rebranding. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.
Facebook is battling intense scrutiny after a whistleblower leaked thousands of that showed it contributed to increased polarization online when it made changes to its content algorithm, failed to take steps to reduce vaccine hesitancy, and was aware that popular social media app harmed the mental health of .
The U.S. Senate held a hearing earlier this month into the effect of Instagram on young users.
“Legislators and politicians are sufficiently smart to not be fooled by a rebranding,” said James Cordwell, an internet analyst at Atlantic Equities, Reuters reported.
Renaming can be an effective strategy to allow subsidiary brands to maintain their own reputations, said Marisa Mulvihill, head of brand and activation at Prophet, a branding and marketing consultancy. But the media and regulators “are not going to stop investigating or creating reforms just because you rebranded,” she added.
The new parent company name could reflect Facebook’s focus on building the ‘metaverse,’ The Verge reported, referring to a proposed digital world where people can use different devices to move and communicate in a virtual environment.
It could also prevent a possible negative perception around the name from affecting WhatsApp, the messaging app used by nearly 2 billion people globally, and Oculus, its virtual reality brand, experts said.
Facebook will continue to confront the same pressures even after a rebrand, the experts said.
“I don’t think it’s going to help Facebook mitigate regulators’ scrutiny or the general ’s_skepticism, if not distrust,” said Natasha Jen, a partner at Pentagram, a design studio that does advertising and communication work. “Trust is something you need to earn.”