California, USA – In line with the company’s vision in bringing the metaverse into life, tech conglomerate Facebook has announced the company’s new name called ‘Meta’ during its recently-concluded Connect 2021 conference last 28 October, where they laid out plans on the vision of the metaverse as the successor to the mobile internet.

Prior to the company name change, Facebook had already revealed interests in developing metaverse-related endeavors, such as their recent US$50m investment in research programs that will explore how to develop the digital metaverse responsibly.

In a company statement, they noted that the metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. They also added that it will let audiences share immersive experiences with other people even when not being together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world.

“The next platform will be even more immersive — an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build,” Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, now Meta, said in an online letter posted on Facebook.

He added, “The defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence — like you are right there with another person or in another place. Feeling truly present with another person is the ultimate dream of social technology. That is why we are focused on building this.”

Zuckerberg further added that their role in this metaverse journey is to accelerate the development of the fundamental technologies, social platforms, and creative tools to bring the metaverse to life, and to weave these technologies through our social media apps.

“The metaverse will not be created by one company. It will be built by creators and developers making new experiences and digital items that are interoperable and unlock a massively larger creative economy than the one constrained by today’s platforms and their policies. We believe the metaverse can enable better social experiences than anything that exists today, and we will dedicate our energy to helping achieve its potential,” he stated.

As part of the ‘Meta’ announcement, the company has also announced new tools to help people build for the metaverse, including Presence Platform, which will enable new mixed reality experiences on Quest 2, and a US$150m investment in immersive learning to train the next generation of creators.

Malaysia – In conjunction with its 25th anniversary, Malaysian telecommunications company Maxis unveiled a new brand purpose, which will convey the message of bringing together the best of technologies to help people, businesses and the nation “to always be ahead” in the middle of an uncertain world. 

Maxis CEO Gokhan Ogut said that along with a fresh brand direction, the company will adopt a new corporate identity in the objective to steer the company in furthering its leadership in the converged solutions industry in the nation.

“The ‘always be ahead’ spirit is about embracing change, growth, discovery and finding new ways through technology. We are making a commitment to all Malaysians, from individuals and families, to businesses and entire communities that Maxis will be their digital enabler and coach to help them leverage the best technologies so that they can always be ahead,” said Ogut. 

To start off the campaign, Maxis will roll out a series of short videos which will feature individuals and social enterprises who have inspiring stories about how technology and the internet has helped their lives, and enriched the communities around them. 

In one video published on Youtube, Maxis got Malaysian teacher Siti Faridah to share how she’s overcoming the virtual setup of learning and teaching in the middle of the country’s movement control order.

In one part of the video, she enumerates the ways she creates a virtual classroom, while being shown arranging her work from home setup, with a Maxis broadband on the side.

“One of the things I tried is creating a video content. Sometimes I do live streaming, sometimes I do Facebook live, and sometimes I upload video content on Youtube,” she said on the video.

In line with Maxis’ reworked brand purpose, the company will be doubling down on digitalisation programs and will launch a series of initiatives to provide assistance and fundamental skills for digital adoption and acceleration in communities across the country:

Among such initiatives is the SME Digitalisation Grant where SMEs get to claim up to RM5,000 for their digitalisation efforts.

Another one is the Digital 101 for SMEs which puts together courses from Maxis business to guide micro-SMEs on mastering digital marketing and eCommerce. 

An initiative called Device Tips will also be part of the series, a program that will help upskill families and tech enthusiasts on digital practices which is said to be in partnership with Samsung, Huawei and Apple.