Welcome To The Metaverse: What Facebook’s Rebrand To Meta Means For Auto Dealerships
Nothing like a major announcement by the world’s social media giant to get the digital sphere buzzing!
In recent months, we all have learned the importance of flexibility – with iOS updates, inventory shortages, cookie privacy changes, and most recently, the deprecation of Facebook Marketplace automation – auto marketers have learned to stay alert and ready for action in the wake of disruption.
Facebook’s most recent announcement falls well within the concept of “with great change comes great opportunity.” While this news may have some people concerned as to what it means for the auto industry, personally, we are confident that this will provide more ways to connect with local communities in a meaningful way.
So, let’s break it down.
Why did Facebook change its name to Meta?
On Thursday, October 28th 2021, the company Facebook announced that it was renaming itself to “Meta.”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that his company was going beyond today’s social networking, which Facebook has been built on since it was founded 17 years ago. Having Facebook as the corporate name when the company now owned many apps and was fundamentally about connecting people was no longer tenable, he said. (Source: The New York Times)
What is “Meta” and the “Metaverse”?
According to an article on Facebook Newsroom, “Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.”
“The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company.”
What does this mean for my dealership’s advertising on Facebook-owned platforms such as Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram?
We expect little, if any, changes to your current advertising across Facebook-owned platforms. You will still see “Facebook” labeled in your Google Analytics, advertising reports, direct invoices, etc. That said, we’ll continue to be on the lookout for any new unforeseen changes and will notify you as soon as we learn more.
It’s also important to note that Zuckerberg and the company have made it clear that investments will still be made toward the social media platforms under the Meta umbrella. “Building our social media apps will always be an important focus for us. But right now, our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future,” Zuckerberg said.
What opportunity does the “Metaverse” offer auto advertisers?
In a note from our Facebook Partner Manager, we are assured that Meta is “committed to helping you deliver on [marketing] objectives by reaching the right people and engaging with your customers – today and in the future.”
The Metaverse concept, while forward-thinking, also poses a massive opportunity for dealership advertisers in coming years. With a spotlight on virtual and augmented experiences, this new environment could change not only our advertising, but even our lives drastically! What kind of opportunities do we have for advertising for our dealerships to show up? We are excited to learn more about these media opportunities and what they mean for auto dealers.
So do we start referring to Facebook’s platform as “Meta”?
Not necessarily. Facebook and its other apps, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, will remain—but under the Meta umbrella. For example, you don’t need to worry about the big blue and white logo changing on your phone screen.
That said, we have noticed that the “Facebook for Business” Facebook Business Page has indeed changed to “Meta for Business,” while sites like facebook.com/business are still intact and only Facebook-focused. We will keep you informed about any additional changes.
What IS changing and when?
According to Meta’s announcement, the company’s corporate structure is not changing, and the metaverse concept will likely take years – potentially a decade or more – since the concept is theoretical right now. That said, it will begin trading under the stock ticker MVRS beginning on Dec. 1, and is expected to begin branding some of its virtual-reality products as Meta, shifting away from the original brand name of Oculus.
Take a deep breath knowing that there are no critical changes to your ads or accounts to act on. We will keep updating you as more information becomes available. We can’t wait to see what the metaverse offers the auto industry!