3 min read
24 Jan

Facebook's application offerings will largely remain unchanged while the company undergoes a major rebranding. They will require users to create a unified account in the future, and Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp will keep their current names. Individual services will not rebrand, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who stated in his keynote speech at Connect 2021. Following Zuckerberg's keynote, Andrew Bosworth, the company's VP of AR and VR, took the stage to announce the rebranding of the Oculus brand to Meta.

While Meta is the umbrella brand for all Facebook products, we can expect Meta to be used for the company's AR/VR services as well. Customers could expect to see the transition unfold over time, according to Bosworth's statement, which is also reflected in Bosworth's Facebook post to that effect. The transition appears to be swift and bold, having already begun less than a week after the initial announcement.

Although Facebook (now Meta) has yet to issue a formal press release announcing Quest's transformation to Meta, the Meta brand is appearing in blogs and marketing materials related to Oculus Quest. Meta Quest is partnering with Meta Quest, not Oculus Quest, for a special Star Wars preview, according to a blog post from November 5, 2021. Meta Quest will probably appear in more communications in the future, eventually replacing the Oculus brand–at least in consumer-facing applications.

What is Meta Quest, exactly?

Simply put, Meta Quest is the new name for the VR headsets that were previously known as Oculus. A group of hardware enthusiasts and independent developers found oculus in 2012. They started it with a Kickstarter campaign and quickly grew to raise $921 million over several rounds of funding. In 2014, Facebook paid $2 billion for Oculus, bringing its market-leading virtual reality capabilities into the fold. Oculus has released several headsets since then, including the Oculus Go, Oculus Quest, and Oculus Quest 2. Following Facebook's rebrand, these will now known as Meta Quest or Meta Quest 2.

What Does Meta Quest's Launch Mean for Users?

According to Bosworth's announcement, the change will have a significant impact on users starting in early 2022. They will rebrand new device shipments as Meta Quest rather than Oculus Quest. In a similar vein, they will rename the Oculus app Meta Quest. In the coming months, Meta plans to emphasize and strengthen Oculus' social capabilities. While the Oculus VR headset has always had collaborative features for work and personal life, Meta Horizon will reintroduce these services (formerly known as Facebook Horizon). On the Meta Quest, users can expect services such as Horizon Home, Horizon Venues, Horizon Friends, and Horizon Workrooms.

These will be accessible using your Meta unified credentials once again. Meta Quest is working on new ways to log in that do not require a Facebook account.

Is the Oculus still going to exist?

Bosworth had previously stated on Facebook that the Oculus brand name would be "retired." On Twitter, he quickly corrected the post, saying that "retiring" was "too strong a term." Indeed, Oculus is one of the most popular VR headsets in the world, and one of the few VR devices that is widely available in most regions. Oculus is synonymous with VR gear for a segment of users, and Meta may be "jumping the gun" by retiring the name so soon. That’s why Bosworth explains Oculus will continue to live on in a different, non-consumer-facing avatar.

"While the hardware brand will change, Oculus will remain a core part of our DNA and will live on in things like software and developer tools," he explained. To put it another way, while there will no longer be an Oculus Quest, we can expect the Oculus developer tools to keep their names. Meta Quest is likely to take over the branding soon.

In a post-pandemic world, a meta quest is required.

In 2019, Global VR adoption was still gaining traction, and Oculus Quest was one of the few leaders in a still-developing market. In 2021, the VR industry will be very different, with usage having skyrocketed in the last 18 months. In the United States, for example, nearly a quarter of users have tried an AR/VR headset in the last year. According to another survey, 83 percent of respondents believe that technology investment will increase in the coming years, compared to previous years. They well positioned meta Quest to take advantage of this opportunity, with new hardware branding and underlying VR software and services. Importantly, you won't need a Facebook account to use Meta Quest starting next year, which will be a welcome change for many in terms of privacy and control. As we spend more time online and in virtual spaces, Meta's success will depend on well-designed VR experiences.

The Industry's Reaction to Meta Quest

While they will disappoint many to see Oculus go, it was only a matter of time before Meta (derived from the term metaverse rebranded its VR arm. Even before its acquisition by Facebook, Oculus was a fan favorite among users, and many customers remain loyal to the original brand. One of the main reasons for Facebook's rebranding to Meta, according to Mark Zuckerberg, is that it was too "awkward" to have a product and umbrella brand with the same name when there are so many products and services at play. It may appear counterintuitive to rename Oculus as Meta, given that the company now has a product with the same name as its umbrella brand. Meta Quest reflects Meta's desire to reimagine itself as a social VR company rather than a social media company. We expect new software and services under the hood in the coming months that will enhance Meta Quest's value proposition.

The article was written by Amit Caesar and Bard

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