Facebook changing its name to Meta damaged its already battered reputation, a study found

In October, Facebook changed its corporate name from Meta to Meta.
According to Fast Company, public trust in Meta fell 5% following the rebranding, according to a Harris Poll report.

Meta is currently in crisis PR due to reports based upon documents leaked from Frances Haugen, whistleblower.

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According to a report by The Harris Poll (a company that monitors brand trust), Facebook's massive rebranding to Meta had exactly the opposite effect as most rebrands are supposed to have.

According to Fast Company, Meta saw a drop in trust after its announcement of changing its corporate name.

Before it changed its name, Meta was already in a PR crisis. The Wall Street Journal began publishing leaked documents from Frances Haugen (a Facebook whistleblower) in September.

The Harris Brand data shows that the trust score of the company began to decline from 16% when The Journal published stories based upon Haugen's leaked documents. It reached a low point of 5.8% in October, the same week Haugen testified before Congress.

The trust was regained by the company, which rose to 11% in October. According to Fast Company's data, 6.2% dropped after the announcement of the rebrand.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, said that the rebrand was not related to the bad press that followed Haugen's leaks. He told The Verge that the current situation Meta was in had "nothing" to do with the company's decision.

Meta has stressed that its rebranding is intended to position it as a metaverse company. Metaverse refers to an alternate version of the internet that can be accessed using augmented-reality headsets and virtual-reality headsets. It is a term that was borrowed from science fiction.

Zuckerberg began talking publicly about Facebook becoming a metaverse company in July of 2013, months before the Facebook PR crisis.

Insider was told by branding and PR experts that the company's name change would not be sufficient to protect its reputation. Instead, the company would need to do "fundamental" work to regain trust with customers. It is possible that Zuckerberg's public image will hinder any efforts to clean slate Meta.