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Facebook’s Rebrand Is About The FTC, Not A Fancy New Font

The new “by Facebook” label won’t make it harder to break up Facebook. But it will let people know what products they’re using.

Posted on November 4, 2019, at 4:29 p.m. ET

Facebook

Facebook’s new brand isn’t setting font nerds ablaze, but that’s not what it was intended to do. According to a source with knowledge of the company’s thinking, the purpose of the redesign — which saw Facebook slap a new logo on all its products — was to ward off further complications with the Federal Trade Commission, after the tech giant agreed to a settlement earlier this year.

The new branding, contrary to some reports, also has little to do with Facebook trying to make itself harder for the US government to break up.

Instead, by more prominently disclosing its ownership of apps like Instagram and WhatsApp, the source said, Facebook intends to leave little question as to who owns its products, rather than risk letting the FTC find its labeling deceptive.

My favorite theory about this new branding is @profgalloway 's prediction on how Zuckerberg would argue to Congress: "you can't break Facebook up, the brands are so intertwined now" https://t.co/kIDhnkLtCh

the facebook rebrand is a bald attempt at differentiating the products from the brand by unifying them (w/ "by FACEBOOK" in differentiable type) in response to threats of government regulation and break-up. it's fun when twitter makes lazy jokes but this isn't the pepsi rebrand.

the latest entry in facebook's "please don't break us up" play https://t.co/VK9cH2aON9

“Many people don't know we build these products or that our teams often work together,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on Monday. “But we believe people should, because it's important for people to know who's behind the products they use.”

The new brand spells Facebook in all caps. It doesn’t have a set color, adapting depending on the app it’s displayed in. It will replace similar but less prominent “from Facebook” messaging in all of Facebook’s apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp.

The FTC imposed a $5 billion fine on Facebook in July, alleging it had “repeatedly used deceptive disclosures.” Following the fine, Zuckerberg said, “we're going to make some major structural changes to how we build products and run this company.” And now, one of those changes is here.

A Facebook spokesperson shared the following statement: “Branding changes are normal course of business and marketing strategy. For us, this brand change is a way to communicate a simpler and clearer company narrative to people and businesses that use our services.”


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