Facebook ended its troubled week with an announcement — Facebook Inc., the owner of the social network and Instagram, WhatsApp, and other ventures, is changing its name to Meta Platforms.
As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in his blog post, the existing brand could not “possibly represent everything that we’re doing today, let alone in the future,” and needed to change.
As we prepare for this name change, here’s a look at other companies that have undergone a rebranding in the recent past.
Google to Alphabet
In 2015, the internet search giant — worth more than $400 billion — announced that it was changing its name to Alphabet, a technology conglomerate.
Larry Page, former chief executive, explaining the move, had said: “Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies.”
He explained further that the new entity would help the company take a long-term view and improve the “transparency and oversight” of its actions. He wrote that the new entity was an “alphabet (Alpha is investment return over benchmark), which we strive for!”
Dunkin Donuts is now Dunkin’.
In the United States, Dunkin’ Donuts has been an institution since 1950.
However, in September 2018, the American company dropped “Donuts” from its name and logo. Dunkin’ Brands chief executive had said that the change in eating habits had led to the shift.
Those wondering if the company still serves doughnuts are on the menu, and the chain sells billions of them every year.
Burbn becomes Instagram
Initially, Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger named the photosharing app Burbn, focusing on location-sharing, earning points while check-ins, and post-event picture sharing for iPhone users.
However, the app failed due to several complicated features. It was then tweaked, and the app was finally reborn as Instagram focused on the photosharing aspect.
Foodiebay spits out Zomato
In 2010, a food directory came into being called Foodiebay. After two years, the company rebranded to Zomato. Currently valued at over $3 billion, Zomato recently made headlines by acquiring a stake in Uber Eats.
Odeo turns to Twitter.
What Twitter was and what it’s become is a beautiful journey.
The story goes that ex-Googler Evan Williams had a startup called Odeo. It was going to be a podcasting platform. Evan asked his friend, another ex-Googler named Biz Stone, to join him.
When Apple launched iTunes podcasting and made Odeo’s podcasting platform irrelevant, Evan and Biz and an Odeo team member named Jack Dorsey decided to create something Twitter instead.
And on 21 March 2006, Dorsey sent out its first tweet, reading, “just setting up my twttr.”
WWF wrestles with WWE
After a lengthy legal battle, the world’s biggest wrestling company was forced to change from WWF to WWE.
In 1994, the wildlife preservation charity insisted that the World Wrestling Federation sign a legal document restricting its use outside of America. However, the wrestling company ignored their agreement, which led to the legal battle. Finally, in 2000, Vince McMachon’s company rebranded its company — World Wrestling Entertainment, and it eventually came to be known simply as WWE.
Weight Watchers to WW
Weight Watchers, a US-based company that offers weight loss and maintenance services, was founded in 1963 by New York City homemaker Jean Nidetch.
It switched to its initials in 2018 to get away from the idea that it was only a diet company, at a time when more and more people were aware that dieting wasn’t healthy and that weight isn’t necessarily tied to overall wellness.
Relentless transforms to Amazon.
Did you know that when you type “www.relentless.com,” it takes you to the Amazon website? This is because Bezos initially thought of naming his online book store Relentless, not Amazon. He still owns the domain name, which redirects to his e-commerce behemoth.
Andersen Consulting becomes Accenture.
Accenture’s Fortune 500 company began as the business and technology consulting division of accounting firm Arthur Andersen.
However, tensions with its parent led to a legal battle that concluded with Andersen Consulting not legally using the name Andersen, so it rebranded to Accenture in 2001.
The move happened just as Arthur Andersen was ensnared in the Enron financial scandal.
AuctionWeb turns to eBay.
Today, eBay facilitates consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales through its website.
It was founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar and was initially called AuctionWeb. In September 1997, the company was rechristened as eBay after Echo Bay Technology Group, Omidyar’s consulting firm.