At Meta we are Metamates

At Meta we are Metamates

After Facebook’s rebranding as Meta last fall and the turmoil with regulators and the stock market in recent months and weeks, Meta continues to find itself.

At an internal meeting for all of Meta’s approximately 71,000 employees, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled new guidelines for Meta’s behavior and how employees should treat each other. His speech for the first time has been live-streamed in Meta’s Horizon Worlds VR environment.

Zuckerberg focuses on internal solidarity and forward thinking

Zuckerberg is partly replacing old values with new or adapted ones that focus in particular on togetherness. “Meta, Metamates, me” is to guide the behavior of employees from now on.

According to Meta’s future CTO Andrew Bosworth, the value is a reference to a phrase from seafaring: “Ship, Shipmates, Self,” which also applies to Instagram. The term was penned by Douglas Hofstadter, a renowned US physicist, computer scientist and cognitive scientist (including Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid).

Facebook’s controversial guiding principle “Move fast and break things”, which was shortened to “Move fast” years ago for publicly comprehensible reasons, now becomes: “Move fast together”. The guiding principle “Be bold” becomes “Build awesome things”.

Strong future orientation is anchored in the new values, in line with the long-term Metaverse vision: “Live in the future” and “Focus on long term impact” are two further guidelines for the Metamates.

Zuckerberg further urges meta-employees to “Be Open”, but “don’t nice ourselves to death”.

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“Results not visible for several years”: Zuckerberg asks employees to be patient

The New York Times said it had access to internal responses in private chats. While there were hundreds of positive reactions in the company-wide forums, the new rules were viewed more skeptically in the chats available to the NYT.

“How is this going to change the company? I don’t understand the messaging,” asks one engineer, noting that it’s confusing how frequently Meta changes names. Another asks if the “Metamates” are on a sinking ship together. Still others complain that the new rules seemed military-inspired and gave a sense of being just “a cog in a machine.”

One Meta employee reportedly poked fun at the values on Twitter, replacing the central terms with “conform” and “obey”. The tweet is no longer online.

Zuckerberg urges Metamates to be patient in an internal Facebook post: “We should take on the challenges that will be the most impactful, even if the full results won’t be seen for years,” he wrote.

And now what was the “big announcement” promised in advance by the leak website The Information away from the guiding principles? Possibly that Facebook’s “News Feed” will just be called “Feed” from now on. No other announcement is currently known.

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