Facebook’s 10-year-old acronym is about to become a noun.
After a decade as a multimedia powerhouse, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday announced the social network is changing its name to “Facebook, Inc.”
“We decided to change our name to make it easier for people to find us online,” Zuckerberg said on a Facebook post. “We’re always looking for ways to make people’s Facebook experience more meaningful and this name change is one way we’re doing that.”
I’m sure we can all agree, over time the acronym became complicated. The name FB – Facebook.com – makes it a little harder to remember what it stands for. Zuckerberg, however, said he’s not going with a traditional name.
“We decided not to take the long and circuitous route of going traditional such as Yahoo, Yahoo Finance, or the name we started with – ConnectU,” he said. “We’ve heard from our friends at other social networks that they have trouble finding their way around. We also know that people will be able to still find us on our existing sites and apps like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.”
Zuckerberg’s explanation explains his desire to simplify what many have been confused about for many years now.
But regardless of what he chooses to call his newest creation, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that changing Facebook’s branding means two things: that it is changing its name and also its business model.
The social media giant has made the decision to change its business model to one that revolves around advertising, which “isn’t very different than what other businesses do,” Zuckerberg wrote. “It’s just on our side.”
Facebook continues to dominate the online social media space. It has more than 2 billion people who use it every day. The company also announced a major partnership with Instagram to make it easier for Instagram users to post selfies.
Get ready for “Facebook, Inc.” to become ubiquitous. One day soon, you’ll be able to say what you want to say on Facebook. And Facebook’s name change is just a few simple months away.
When Facebook does acquire a new brand, it makes me nervous.
What if the social media giant one day buys one of my favorite brands? What if it bought iconic brands like Netflix, Timmler, Seamless, Etsy, and OpenTable in the future? I might not even recognize my own Facebook account.
I have no problem with Facebook adopting another brand. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a problem with it influencing the “buy” decisions of its 2 billion users.
Joe McGuinness is a digital strategist and co-founder of Seismic Digital Strategies. Follow him on Twitter @JoeTheLabel or Instagram @JoeTheLabel.