October 28, 2021
Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 492 words, a 2-minute read.
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1 big thing: Facebook goes Meta
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a sweeping vision for lifelike work and play online, and revealed a new corporate name — Meta — to signify the push beyond social media.
- "Over time, I hope that we're seen as a metaverse company," Zuckerberg said in announcing the new name for the parent company. The app will remain Facebook.
- "I used to love studying classics," he added. "The word 'meta' comes from the Greek word meaning 'beyond.' For me, it symbolizes that there is always more to build."
The big picture: Zuckerberg is setting a different course than Google did in 2015, when its parent became Alphabet, Axios managing tech editor Scott Rosenberg tells me.
- Alphabet is dedicated to "moonshots" to discover the future.
- Zuckerberg believes he knows where the future is headed — the VR/AR metaverse — and he says he’s betting the company on it by tying its name to the concept.
Between the lines: Zuckerberg tacitly acknowledged Facebook’s current problems but vowed to push forward, even as critics say the company should focus on shortcomings of existing products, Axios chief tech correspondent Ina Fried tells me.
- Go deeper: How Facebook plans to build its metaverse.
2. Biden's Gen X pitch
President Biden is appealing specifically to the sandwich voters of Generation X to get his monster spending packages through Congress.
- "Millions of you are in the so-called 'sandwich generation,' who feel financially squeezed by raising a child and caring for an aging parent," Biden said today.
- Those voters tend to be swing voters, concentrated in the suburbs. They're crucial to midterms and tend to be women, Axios managing editor for politics Margaret Talev tells me.
- "I don’t think it's hyperbole to say that the House and Senate majorities and my presidency will be determined by what happens in the next week," he said, according to the source in the room.
3. Catch up quick
4. Parting shot: Team USA's Beijing gear
Ralph Lauren today unveiled buffalo plaid uniforms for Team USA to wear during the closing ceremony parade at the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February, AP reports.
- The hooded, red-and-blue plaid puffer jackets are made of recycled polyester and recycled down.
Men will sport white fleece pants and women will wear navy fleece-lined leggings — all made of recycled polyester.