It Appears Facebook Spent More Money on the ‘Meta’ Name Than on Funding the Metaverse

It Appears Facebook Spent More Money on the ‘Meta’ Name Than on Funding the Metaverse
Image: Meta

Although Meta’s website is still accessed with Facebook URLs, in particular about.facebook.com, the company is well underway in renaming itself Meta, as per its announcement from October.

This website address sports the new Meta logo (an infinity symbol after melting in the microwave) and a persistent banner hangs over the top of the top of each page saying that the company is now known as meta. Needless to say, Facebook really wants you to know it’s now Meta.

So that’s all well and good right? A company name change isn’t huge, although the Meta rename was memed quite heavily. Well, as of yesterday, we now know how much it cost Facebook to snatch up that prime Meta name realestate.

$60 million! That’s an expensive four letters. Why was it so expensive? Because they needed to purchase the naming rights from Meta Financial Group, a regional bank in the U.S.. This was necessary to avoid legal problems over the name and intellectual property rights. Makes sense.

… But hold on, remember a few months ago when the company formerly known as Facebook announced funding for the building out of the metaverse? They decided $50 million was the right amount to invest in the metaverse.

This sharp contrast between the naming rights and the amount of funding dedicated to the metaverse was pointed out by @Accountabletech on Twitter. Accountable Tech is a not-for-profit and is all about taking on big companies like Facebook and Twitter, basically, holding big tech accountable.

In case you forgot, Meta has a few priorities in mind for fleshing out the metaverse and says that the metaverse won’t be built overnight all by one company. That $50 million is going towards global research and partners to Meta, with the goal of developing metaverse products “responsibly”. It’s a two year investment in programs and external research.

No word on how much of that money will be going towards training people to not get motion sick in VR, but I feel like getting used to the tech is a pretty big part of the whole thing. The company has announced a few metaverse partners that will be helping build out the Oasis – I mean the metaverse.

Anyway, Meta has launched its first step into the metaverse with a new app on December 9 – Horizon Worlds. If you want to get a feeling of what Facebook’s vision will be all about, you can get a glimpse of it there – if you live in the U.S. or Canada. The rest of us are limited to the Meta Quest’s other slew of apps.