Today in big tech: A monolith you know and love and hate has announced it is rebranding itself. Did I say today in big tech? I meant today in BIG TECH. The company has announced that while it was formerly known as Company Name, it will now be going by COMPANY NAME — ostensibly to signify a difference between COMPANY NAME, the corporate umbrella, and Company Name, the social-media product keeping dry under said umbrella.
The previous, non-shouty branding was around for the last 15 years prior to these changes. In those years, the company did a whole bunch of not great stuff … all without the help of capitalization. These include: breaching the data of millions of users, letting Russia successfully mount a cyber campaign during the 2016 election, and, more broadly, engineering a product designed to hook you like a drug.
The point of the rebrand, per a company blog, is to make it clearer to users which products COMPANY NAME owns. So say you’re logging into the Preferred Encrypted Chat App That’s Good For International Communication or the Square Photo App — now you’ll see a more clearly demarcated COMPANY NAME logo.
This, according to Bloomberg, isn’t about transparency. (Duh.) Instead, COMPANY NAME figured out that if users of those other apps — the ones they like and the ones that didn’t help train-wreck the 2016 election — are owned by COMPANY NAME, those users are more likely to like COMPANY NAME more by association. The rebrand is purely a perception game. Do not be fooled by the stylization. COMPANY NAME is still not your friend, even in all caps.