Home Social networking Out with the Facebookers. In With Metamates.

Out with the Facebookers. In With Metamates.


Google employees are called Googlers. Amazon workers are known as Amazonians. Yahoo employees were Yahoos.

So it was a conundrum for Facebook employees, long known as Facebookers, when the company rebranded itself as Meta late last year.

Terminology is no longer in question. In a meeting on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook and CEO of Meta, announced a new name for his company’s employees: Metamates.

Mr Zuckerberg introduced the term as part of an overhaul of Meta’s corporate values, which he said needed updating due to the company’s new leadership. In October, he surprised many by moving Facebook to the so-called metaverse, in which different computing platforms are connected to each other via the Internet. The move has downplayed the company’s social media apps, such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, which have come under scrutiny for privacy and data issues, hateful content and disinformation.

So old Facebook values ​​like “Be bold” and “Focus on impact”? They left. In their place are “Living in the future,” “Building awesome stuff,” “Focus on long-term impact,” and “Meta, Metamates, me,” Zuckerberg said Tuesday.

“I have always believed that for values ​​to be useful, they must be ideas that good companies can reasonably disagree with or emphasize differently,” he wrote in a Publish to his Facebook page. He added: “I think these values ​​reflect how we need to act as a company to bring our vision to life.”

Silicon Valley companies have long had their own jargon and cultures. Corporate slogans such as “Don’t be mean”, “Innovation leads to innovation” and “Go fast and break things” are legion. Palantir, a big data software company, even put the slogan “Save the Shire,” a reference to “Lord of the Rings,” on employee t-shirts. It’s all spawned send-offs from the tech world like HBO’s “Silicon Valley.”

For Mr. Zuckerberg, the latest values ​​represent a sort of fresh start for his company, even if the metaverse is far from formed. But Meta employees greeted the reset on Tuesday with mixed reactions.

On some internal forums, hundreds of employees greeted the changes with heart-shaped emojis. Yet in private chat messages, away from the eyes of managers, some workers expressed more skepticism.

“How will this change the business? I don’t get the message,” one engineer wrote in a private conversation seen by The New York Times. “We keep changing the name of everything, and it’s confusing.”

Another employee said being a Metamate reminded him of sailing. “Does that mean we are on a sinking ship? writes the worker.

Others said the new slogans had a “military inspiration” or sounded like “a cog in a machine”, according to employee posts reviewed by The Times. And on Twitter, a Meta employee mocked the new values, replacing them with “comply” and “obey.” He quickly deleted the message.

Meta declined to comment on the employees’ posts.

The nickname Metamates was coined by Douglas Hofstadter, professor of cognitive science at Indiana University and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.” In one Tweeter, Andrew Bosworth, Meta’s chief technology officer, said an employee emailed Hofstadter asking for rebranding ideas.

In an email, Hofstadter said he originally suggested “teammate” to describe Meta employees, since each half of the word is an anagram of Meta. In a postscript, he recommended Metamate as an alternative. He added that he was unaware the company had adopted the name.

“By the way, I don’t use Facebook and never have,” he wrote. “In fact, I avoid all social networks. It’s not my style at all. But the email I use!

Mr. Zuckerberg, in his Facebook post, advised employees to be patient with any changes in the business. One of the new values ​​asks employees to “focus on long-term impact” as Facebook transitions to the metaverse.

“We must tackle the challenges that will have the greatest impact, even if the full results will not be visible for years,” he wrote.

ryan mac contributed report.