In July, a law firm with ties to Facebook will unveil a slickly designed, elegant rebrand that comes after months of blistering criticism of the social media giant from leading consumer advocates and political pundits, who have accused Facebook of assisting Russian operatives by spreading fake information and posing as Americans to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The new branding is the culmination of a top-to-bottom rebranding in April which did not, as many feared, identify Facebook as a social media platform rather than a technology company. Instead, the new image and positioning represents a “rebranding of Facebook’s core value proposition, not just a rebrand of the brand,” a Facebook spokesman said.
The new brand “positions the company in a way that we believe best embodies the deep roots of a technology company and best represents the kind of innovation that connects people around the world,” the spokesman told FoxNews.com.
The company will update the social media platform with a rebranding campaign beginning in July that includes an updated logo.
“People, news, personal connections and technology are under constant attack, as adversaries try to use our platforms to divide us. That’s why we’ve taken a harder look at how we build and operate our services, made some changes and are putting more emphasis on privacy and transparency,” said a Facebook spokeswoman in a statement in May.
The representatives of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, the advertising agency responsible for the new logo, have reportedly described it as “organic and unencumbered” and add that they hope it “embodies the openness, trust and serendipity that Facebook represents.”
But the question remains: If the company is throwing everything it’s got into a rebrand, is it just an exercise in self-promotion, or is Facebook finally getting serious about fixing the myriad privacy issues that have plagued the company over the past year?
Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, a think tank, told FoxNews.com that while some may applaud the “updated monikers,” the concerns over privacy will remain the same.
“It’s ultimately the same social networking service we’ve known for years and years. Their shift in positioning is not rooted in reality or in the concerns of their customers,” he said.
Ibish argues that the bold yet experimental ad campaign is nothing more than a temporary Band-Aid to staunch the bleeding of the privacy debacle. “It’s a big PR stunt to save face after such a terrible series of failures,” he said.
With their new-look logo, the company is also determined to explain in more detail the various privacy changes they announced last month: making it easier for users to delete their data, bolstering privacy safeguards and increasing transparency.
On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company is “exploring” removing features that allow advertisers to see the likes and dislikes of users’ posts.
Journal correspondent Evelyn Rusli, who covered the company’s privacy, data and competition issues from 2014-2017, said there is more to it than a brief cut to the marketing jargon.
“There’s a broader problem and it has to do with how big these platforms have become and the extent to which they could follow suit of the companies that Facebook caters to, in that their ads are tied closely to their content,” she said.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg “has been vigorously defending Facebook lately, saying they are going to clean up the messes before it gets worse, that they are going to offer more protections to users,” Rusli said. “He’s going to have to prove that they really are being cleaned up of the bad stuff.”
She continues: “It has to be done now, or the original situation will play out over years. All the mounting criticism they were receiving was giving them the cold shoulder. Instead, they’ve decided to finally jump in, and get right with the rest of us users. I think it’s a positive sign and, of course, it will ultimately, come to pass, but it will be messy.”
Tasha Kheiriddin is a political commentator and a Fox News contributor. Follow her on Twitter: @tashakhheiriddin