In Brief

How Facebook is avoiding being confused with Facebook

The tech giant has launched a new logo - and confused a lot of people in the process

Facebook is launching a new logo in a bid to prevent the multibillion-dollar company being confused with its famous social media platform of the same name.

The new logo is still just the word Facebook, but is capitalised and uses autumnal colours - in contrast to that of the social networking service, which is in lowercase writing and is blue.

Confused? You’re not the only one...

Facebook is the name of two different things - the social media platform founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 and the company that owns that social media platform.

Facebook the company also owns a range of other media services, including Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

As Sky News reports, there used to be a similar set-up at Google, which was previously the name of both the search engine website and the company that owned it.

In 2015, the company that owns the platform was renamed Alphabet Inc., with Google as a subsidiary.

Facebook says that it is now doing the same thing, but that the website and the company will still carry the same name.

So why has Facebook rebranded itself?

Facebook has expanded by buying a number of other social media platforms - including WhatsApp and Instagram - with a focus on assimilating those companies into its business. But as Facebook grew, and its market share increased, for a long time it was not clear “how the company would do this and if it could do so legally”, says Sky News.

Facebook says that the rebrand is aimed at clarifying the distinction between the Facebook company and the Facebook social media platform.

Chief marketing officer Antonio Lucio said in a blog post: “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.”

However, as TechCrunch reports, some commentators have suggested that the rebrand is aimed at reducing potential competition concerns and addressing worries about the company’s market share. According to the website, the move is being viewed by some as a preemptive “defence against antitrust action” over the company’s market dominance.

Any other possible reasons for the rebrand?

The company has also had its fair share of image issues, largely as a result of user data rows and its involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The Daily Mirror says the new logo is part of a “desperate attempt to rebrand” the company that has been “widely mocked by confused users”.

Meanwhile, Matthew Cantor in The Guardian questions whether the capitalised rebrand is enough to “save a toxic brand”.

“Facebook is the social network you hate; FACEBOOK is the company you didn’t know you loved,” Cantor says.

“When foreign powers interfere with the 2020 election. Mark Zuckerberg can tell Congress: sure, Facebook has its problems. But FACEBOOK is doing just fine.”

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