KT Opinion: A name change won’t hurt Facebook; Zuck’s in the zone

Dubai - Facebook’s rebranding exercise will make no difference to the company’s revenues or size, which will only grow bigger

By Staff Writer

Published: Wed 20 Oct 2021, 11:09 PM

Last updated: Wed 20 Oct 2021, 11:10 PM

Facebook faces a credibility crisis and wants to change... its name. What’s in a name? Even Google changed to Alphabet only to grow in size as the dominant search engine that drives the internet of everything.

But it’s true that people and governments have trust issues with the world’s largest social media platform that has more than 2.8 billion users. Many believe the site is a law unto itself. Regulators and legislators in the US, therefore, want to break up the social media powerhouse which is allegedly killing competition and preventing innovation.

Former Big Media is seething with rage at the rise and dominance of what we shall call Big Social Media led by the likes of Facebook and Twitter who are now the window to the real or virtual world. Big Social Media and Big Tech now dictate the flow of information and revenues for the old media.

So Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, is the man you can’t trust with your information, data and even your kids. So if you can’t control children, have a go at Zuck, a former coder who made it big with his social network that was born 17 years in a university dorm.

But a former manager at the social media giant went public two weeks and said Zuck’s baby puts profits over people, and Instagram makes teens look uglier. Which raises the question: why look yourself up on Insta in the first place?

But that’s just one side of the story. The other side is that Facebook connects people like no other platform in the world.

You can meet friends, make new friends (and foes), conduct business and drive revenue for your company. You can share, show you care and dare to be different on the platform if you can get away with it. It can also be used by people (and bots) to make or mar reputations. FB and sister apps like Instagram and WhatsApp have had a history of run-ins with governments in the West on issues of privacy. They have been also blamed for promoting hatred and violence.

We ask: why blame the new messengers? Zuck has faced several rounds of grilling in the US and has often been unconvincing in his responses, which does not mean he’s not trying to lay down the law on the platform.

In fact, he runs the place like a dictator who has meted out punishments to former US president Donald Trump and others with despotic tendencies. There’s even a jury that sits in judgement on evildoers. Z

Zuck now has plans for what is known as metaverse, a mix of Virtual and Augmented Reality to take FB further and away from the ambit of laws laid down by governments. It’s a gambit and he’s going for broke in his pursuit of profits, which is not a bad idea after all.

He’s even hiring 15,000 folks in Europe where trouble first broke out for the company some years ago. Facebook’s rebranding exercise will make no difference to the company’s revenues or size which will only grow bigger. Let’s just say: Zuck’s in the zone.

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