Thought Bubble: Facebook rebrands to Meta

November 4, 2021
3 min read

Last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social media platform giant would be rebranded to Meta Platforms, Inc. Mintel Associate Director of Consumer Trends Diana Kelter and Comperemedia Senior Research Analyst Amanda Vitrano react to Facebook’s recent rebrand to Meta. Will the rebrand capture consumer attention and what effect will it have on advertising?

Diana Kelter, Associate Director of Trends, North America

Consumers’ Attention Revolves Around The User Experience, Not Rebrands
The Facebook rebrand to Meta has largely left the user experience unchanged, and as a result, the everyday consumer has likely put little attention toward what this means for them. The concept of “Metaverse” continues to gain more mainstream references, but it’s still largely a vague and undefined term. This is driving every major tech brand to be the first to the table, so they can set the standards for what it means. Facebook has a history of doing this. They originated the template (eg news feed) that has set the standard for every social media platform to follow. However, the world is in an entirely different place now and Facebook is facing a series of challenges that will create an obstacle for being the defining brand of the metaverse. Consumers’ attention will follow the core elements of community and value, and the gaming sector, TikTok, eCommerce, and everything in-between are all setting new expectations.

Mintel’s Trend Drivers explore the intersection of consumer motivations and within the ‘Identity’ Trend Driver we’re seeing consumers seek connection through niche interests, whether that’s being a pet owner, a gamer or an outdoor enthusiast. So while Meta maintains mainstream engagement through its various properties, including Instagram and What’s App, it’s not accounting for the niche communities that are developing across the board, which are delivering more tailored points of engagement. Peloton is consistently building out more community features and recently announced it would integrate a gaming experience into their workouts. The DTC retailer Outdoor Voices consistently hosts tailored local events that are sourced on a website tab. A CNBC article also highlighted how the October 4th outage of Meta properties left small businesses stranded because of their singular reliance on these channels, and it motivated them to expand their engagement to either owned websites or different channels. Brands, of all shapes and sizes, will have a clear role to play in defining the Metaverse, not necessarily with a focus on quantity, but a broader focus on quality engagement.

Amanda Vitrano, Senior Digital Marketing Analyst, North America

The Meta reband did not sway advertisers one way or the other

A media company rebranding or acquiring another typically has little to no effect on its advertisers, provided its reach, audience, and ad pricing stays the same. With Facebook rebranding to Meta, it’s an entirely different story due to the months of bad press leading up to it. After the whistleblower news broke about the algorithms’ potential to show harmful content to users, some brands chose to boycott or continued to boycott, the platform entirely. The Meta rebrand announcement was centered around the future of the internet, but it failed to address the concerns aforementioned. Despite that, Meta remains one of the top drivers in ad revenue and will likely continue to grow.

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