As of today, Facebook slash Meta has made another step towards jettisoning its baggage of yore and rebranding itself completely into a Metaverse-first company. Though Facebook is officially called Meta now, and has been for several months, we were waiting to see what the company would do with its Oculus brand of Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, and now we have the answer: all forthcoming VR products will come with the new branding of Meta Quest.
The company announced the change in a tweet that stated, “New name. Same mission.” The Twitter account that made the tweet, @oculus, no longer exists, and has been transferred to @metaquestvr, as noted by XDA-Developers. The virtual reality division of Meta will be known as Meta Quest too, so as of now the only part of Oculus that still remains are headsets that haven’t been sold. It’s safe to assume once that stock is liquidated, all the new Quest headsets will receive the new branding. Obviously this is just a name change, so it’s not indicative of any actual hardware or roadmap changes for the company. It’s just an alignment with the parent company’s naming scheme.
Not surprisingly, the news of the rebrand isn’t going very well, which follows the pattern of when the company changed its name to Meta back in October 2021. People didn’t like the name Meta, and the video the company released to show off the Metaverse was also met with widespread mockery. This time around, the finternet is annoyed by the rebrand, which has been documented by Android Central, with the majority of responses on Twitter being fairly savage. Not helping things is the “hey, we’re hip” tagline on the rebranded Twitter account that reads, “New handle, who dis?”
Meta took note of the disgruntled responses, and replied, “We understand our community will miss the Oculus name, but change doesn’t always have to be a bad thing! We’re hoping to make our ambitions to help build the metaverse more clear with our new name!”
When that wasn’t enough to silence the naysayers, it responded to one person by stating, “We hear you. We all have a strong attachment to the Oculus brand, and this was a very difficult move to make. While we’re changing the brand of the hardware, Oculus will continue to be a core part of our DNA and will live on in things like software and developer tools.”
It seems that despite peoples’ general loathing of Facebook, the Oculus brand was still held in somewhat high regard as it was separate from Facebook, and people generally agree the Quest 2 is a very good VR headset. Changing its name to Meta Quest 2 or whatever it will be called robs the company of all the goodwill it’s built up over the years, while transferring everyone’s disdain onto a product that really doesn’t deserve it. Plus, as several people on Twitter pointed out, Oculus sounds cool and nobody likes the Metaverse, so why tarnish your headset with such a label? Besides, Facebook and Meta have plenty of subsidiaries that will never be rebranded, including Instagram, WhatsApp. This lead some on Twitter to speculate what it would sound like if Meta did rebrand these properties, with one Twitter user cheekily guessing Instagram would be changed to Meta Scroll.