You may have heard Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's big announcement last week he is rebranding his social media company, shifting its focus toward the so-called "metaverse" and renaming it Meta.
Given all the controversy around Facebook at the moment, it may seem like a strange time to launch a rebrand.
But not as strange as the random bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce just sitting in the background of his Meta launch video.
For many eagle-eyed people on the internet, the BBQ sauce bottle upstaged Zuckerberg's actual presentation about the Meta rebrand, which will see the company formerly known as Facebook focus on the metaverse--basically the internet in 3D, accessed by things like virtual reality headsets and augmented reality glasses.
If that sounds unappealing and low-key dystopian to you, you're certainly not alone--Zuckerberg's announcement wasn't exactly warmly received.
But the BBQ sauce bottle really took things to absurd new heights. After all, this was a video presenting the rebrand of a $900 billion-dollar company--not, say, one of the weird conspiracy theory videos that have become Facebook's mainstay in recent years. You'd think Zuck would be a bit more careful!
It turns out the BBQ sauce was there as a self-deprecating reference to Zuck's Facebook Live launch in 2015, during which he cooked a strangely large amount of meat on a Big Green Egg grill while name-checking Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce--and was roasted to a crisp, so to speak, for the weirdness of it all.
But even to those that got the reference, the BBQ sauce Easter egg struck people as just another example of how Zuckerberg often seems... well, just a little bit off. Remember that whole sunscreen thing? Or that Fourth of July video?
Zuck's had so many strange moments that jokes about him maybe being an alien or a cyborg are basically part of the very fabric of the internet. So naturally this whole BBQ sauce thing had Twitter throwing Zuck on the Big Green Egg with the quickness.
While the rebrand announcement gave Facebook's stock price a modest rise at the end of last week, it gave a huge jolt to the price of a Canadian meme company called Meta Materials after buyers confused it for Facebook's new brand. The BBQ sauce isn't the only awkward thing about Meta, it seems.