Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is rebranding its hardware to match its new name. Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth announced that the company is phasing out its Oculus branding, including on the Oculus Quest virtual reality headset. Starting in 2022, the Oculus Quest product line will be known as the Meta Quest, while the Oculus App will become the Meta Quest App. The Facebook Portal video device is also getting rebranded to “Meta Portal” sometime in the next few months.
“When people buy our products, we want them to clearly understand that all of these devices come from Meta and ladder up to our metaverse vision,” Bosworth’s post reads. That means retiring the name Facebook took on when it acquired Oculus in 2014. “We all have a strong attachment to the Oculus brand, and this was a very difficult decision to make. While we’re retiring the name, I can assure you that the original Oculus vision remains deeply embedded in how Meta will continue to drive mass adoption for VR today.”
“This was a very difficult decision”
Some Oculus products will also be given Horizon branding that reflects the company’s VR “metaverse” platform. “We’ll also expand Meta Horizon as the brand that will encompass all of our first-party immersive social experiences,” Bosworth notes. “You’ve seen this already with Horizon Workrooms and Horizon Worlds. Soon you’ll see us shift from Oculus to Horizon Home, Horizon Venues, Horizon Friends, and Horizon Profile.” Facebook Reality Labs, the VR / AR division Bosworth heads, will be renamed to Reality Labs.
In a tweet, Bosworth said that that “Oculus will continue to be a core part of our DNA and will live on as a brand in things like software and developer tools.”
Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the Meta name earlier today during the annual Facebook Connect (formerly known as Oculus Connect, possibly henceforth known as Meta Connect) keynote. Zuckerberg explained the change as a solution to “confusion and awkwardness” around the company’s name also being the brand of a specific social app. Zuckerberg singled out the issue of Oculus users being required to log in via Facebook, a sore point for some VR enthusiasts. “I think that there was a confusion about, ‘Am I signing into this with my Facebook corporate account or is this going to be tied to my social media account?’” he noted.
Bosworth brought up the same issue in his post. “As we’ve heard feedback from the VR community more broadly, we’re working on new ways to log into Quest that won’t require a Facebook account, landing sometime next year. This is one of our highest priority areas of work internally,” Bosworth’s post notes. The company announced today that Meta’s Quest for Business program will let users log in with Work Accounts rather than personal Facebook accounts — but based on Bosworth’s statement, as well as a similar comment from Zuckerberg during the Connect keynote, it’s possible we’ll see a greater shift during the months to come.
Update 6:45PM ET: Added tweet from Bosworth on Oculus branding in developer tools.