Facebook has just rebranded. The company formerly known as Facebook will now be known as FACEBOOK.
Because, you know … reasons.
Today, we’re updating our company branding to be clearer about the products that come from Facebook. We’re introducing a new company logo and further distinguishing the Facebook company from the Facebook app, which will keep its own branding.
When you think about Facebook and rebrands, you might think about a rebranding focused on restoring trust, building credibility, and maybe even returning to the innocence that social media had years ago before Cambridge Analytics, fake news, the weaponization of algorithms, and an ongoing litany of privacy violations, apologies, new violations, and new apologies.
That’s not what this rebrand is about at all.
This rebrand is about the fact that Facebook owns four of the top six people-connecting platforms on the planet:
Facebook (excuse me, FACEBOOK) owns Facebook (this could get confusing) as well as Instagram and Facebook Messenger (I think that’s now FACEBOOK Messenger) and WhatsApp.
Facebook itself has about 2.4 billion users. WhatsApp has 1.6 billion. Messenger is at 1.3 billion. And Instagram is at or above a cool billion users itself.
Only Google’s YouTube, with two billion users, and Tencent’s WeChat, with 1.1 billion users, challenge Facebook in the top six positions. And in the top four, Facebook owns three.
This brand change is a way to better communicate our ownership structure to the people and businesses who use our services to connect, share, build community and grow their audiences.
The change will be fairly subtle, but “uses custom typography and capitalization to create visual distinction between the company and app.” Here’s what the change will look like:
You might think that with governments all over the world fining Facebook for various privacy breaches and other failures – now up to $5.1 billion in 2019 – the company might have more important things to do. You might think that with CEO Mark Zuckerberg squarely in the sights of the Democratic Party leadership, with Elizabeth Warren calling him a threat to democracy, the company might have more important things to do.
And you’d probably be right.
But Facebook is no longer Facebook.
Now, it’s FACEBOOK.
And that fits perfectly with Zuckerberg’s recently more aggressive defense of his company. But it doesn’t really address any of the many elephants in the social media room.