Meta Kills Off Oculus Brand Name to Wild Uproar
Following Facebook’s rebrand to Meta months ago, it was expected that the changes would cut across its entire product lines, including its Oculus virtual reality headset. Now that it is happening, it almost sounds so surreal and, going by the Twitter comments, the user community is not amused.
Facebook has dropped the Oculus brand name on its Twitter page, publicly switching from the old Oculus brand name to Meta. Henceforth, the VR headsets will be known by the name Meta. Oculus Quest 2 officially becomes Meta Quest 2. The name change will also apply to all of the company’s future branding.
The official Oculus account was on Wednesday renamed Meta Quest, with the handle @MetaQuestVR. Although the Oculus gaming account still uses its official name, the handle has been changed to @MetaQuestGaming. While Oculus Developers and Oculus for Business have retained the old Oculus name, Oculus Support is now Meta Quest Help with the handle @MetaQuestHelp.
As these Twitter reactions, the move hasn’t gone well with avid Oculus fans.
I don’t know who in corporate needs to hear this, but if you have a brand name as successful as Oculus, you don’t just… kill it https://t.co/OfnHnmWaTY
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) January 27, 2022
Oculus was such a strong brand. Over the years it became synonymous with VR. People referred to their headsets as ‘the Oculus’. With the Meta rebrand, as it stands they’ve become synonymous with an industry buzzword with little substance. RIP Oculus 🥲 pic.twitter.com/2EBfatyFmH
— Mike – VRO (@vr_oasis) January 28, 2022
What a dogshit rebrand. Oculus was the perfect name. https://t.co/pf1rh3a2pF
— Michael from Notify (@m_chael) January 27, 2022
Yo guys instead of looking at Oculus’ stupid ass name change look at this cat I just rescued pic.twitter.com/4genOPn5x4
— Gnomus The Wise (@EvanGnome) January 27, 2022
It’s literally not the same mission though. Oculus was about games and innovating how we interact with games, not this weird Walmart Metaverse shit Facebook got into. https://t.co/DRmqc5W3lr
— Penny Parker (@SnapsCube) January 27, 2022
I do admit, I'm quite precious over the Oculus brand due to jumping in when it all began and it literally changing my life. In 10 years time it probably won't matter but it feels like it matters right now.
— Mike – VRO (@vr_oasis) January 28, 2022
To which Meta responded:-
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!
— Meta Quest (@MetaQuestVR) January 26, 2022
Meta has been gradually transitioning from Oculus branding ever since it announced the rebrand at the Connect event last year whereupon the company announced the new Meta brand for the whole Facebook corporation. Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and other services will retain their names but Oculus is slowly being switched into Meta to reflect the company’s pivot towards the metaverse.
As the above examples show, not all aspects of the Oculus brand will be changed to Meta. Some labels are likely to stay on. Although the name change wads effected in some of the Oculus accounts, those accounts all retain the Oculus logo as of the time of publishing this article. It is possible these logos might be replaced later on to the Meta logo.
Facebook’s aggressive Meta rebranding reflects the company’s new drive and ambition to develop the building blocks of a future metaverse. The company has resolutely pivoted on its idea of the metaverse that aims to accelerate the development and adoption of virtual reality technology along with VR services like its Horizon platform where avatars interact with one another.
Some posit that the name change is a really bad idea. The ‘Oculus’ brand name is so recognizable that almost gained a synonymity with any VR headset and erasing all that brand equity and replacing it with Meta, which has been received with lots of skepticism, is a step backwards in the product’s trajectory of development and market acceptance.
Besides justifying the rebrand by linking it to the widely derided and widely misunderstood ‘metaverse’ obfuscates and alienates some of the VR fans who resonated with Oculus’ vision of VR hardware.
Still, the rebrand seems chaotic in its early days. The former Oculus Twitter names and handles have been changed to Meta-linked names while still retaining the Oculus logo. The Oculus website oculus.com still exists but it has a Meta logo and a headset with Oculus branding.
The Oculus Quest 2 headset, now Meta Quest 2, has had something that is the closest to a breakthrough in the VR hardware segment. Some past reports suggest it sold more than 10 million units. Only PlayStation VR, with a huge brand name backing could have sold more units. By erasing its ‘Oculus’ branding, the company is erasing 10 years of brand familiarity and success that was associated with the Oculus brand.
With pace of rebranding, though, expect the Oculus brand name, and possibly its creative ‘O’ headset-like logo to be a thing of the past. Meta’s next big play, Project Cambria, will almost certainly be released under the Meta brand name.