Source: The Economic Times

Zuckerberg and the story of “Meta” username on Instagram

The Economic Times

Not so long ago, Mark Zuckerberg announced the rebranding of his company’s name from Facebook to Meta, following the future vision and mission that it was working towards. “Metaverse” was very passionately explained by the technology mammoth in a keynote, where he went on and on about the benefits of the upcoming metaverse. The company even let go of the iconic thumbs up logo to modernize the look and feel of their new brand image which is now called “Meta”.

From the point of the announcement, all Facebook social media handles were renamed to “Meta”. Well, except for the @Meta handle on Instagram, because that was already taken. The name belonged to a magazine based out of Denver, a motorcycle magazine company that had owned the account for years, but only until Facebook announced its rebranding to the same name.

As mentioned in a report by Engadget, many users encouraged META magazine owners to hold the account or at least sell it off at a high price. However, the very next day, the motorcycle account mysteriously went MIA. It is still unclear what happened but it seems like the technology giant got through the small Denver-based motorcycle magazine. There is no confirmation on whether they got paid for it or not, but @Meta username was available for Mark Zuckerberg’s company from that point onwards. The company subsumed all content from their Facebook handle on Instagram to the Meta account as if this has been the company’s name for years and the magazine is now re-named as @readmeta, not very thoughtful but appropriate.

Ben Geise, co-owner of the motorcycle brand said that “it felt like a punch in the gut” as the company had always valued their individuality above everything else. So, when Facebook announced its rebranding to Meta, it was like their identity was watered down the drain. He further said that it felt like it was something he had no control over, as mentioned in a report by Engadget.

For your information, this practice is prohibited by Instagram, officially as mentioned in its terms of service. Officially Instagram does not allow buying and selling of any account or its data that is obtained from their service but of course, there are legit businesses that negotiate with both parties to carry out the sale and purchase of account names and other data.

So, did Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook a.k.a. Meta violate its own rules? Well, it seems like it. In a recent interaction, a Meta representative states that the motorcycle magazine had been fairly compensated for their username, says Stephanie Otway.