‘Meta, metamates, me’: Facebook parent updates company values

16 Feb 2022

Image: © Askar/Stock.adobe.com

CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees to ‘move fast’ and ‘live in the future’ as Meta becomes an increasingly ‘distributed’ company.

Facebook parent Meta has updated its company values in the first major change since 2007, with employees now being referred to as ‘metamates’ to reflect their mission of building the metaverse.

In a Facebook post, CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared with the world new values for Meta employees that are to guide their work, such as “move fast”, “live in the future” and “Meta, metamates, me”. The latter is a reference to a naval slogan ‘ship, shipmates, self’ that has been used by Instagram.

The initial Facebook slogan was “move fast and break things”, which was later changed to simply “move fast”. Now, Meta is about “moving fast together” as a company, Zuckerberg said, a move that may be an attempt to boost employee morale after a spate of bad publicity in recent years.

The post followed a virtual meeting between Zuckerberg and Meta employees yesterday (15 February), in which he revealed and detailed the new company values as part of a series of changes, starting with the company’s big name change, to focus on the metaverse – a virtual world where people work and socialise using AR and VR.

“At the end of last year, we put a flag in the ground with Meta as our new name and vision for the future. As we head into this next chapter and continue to grow, I think it’s important to be intentional about how we work and what values we emphasise,” he wrote in the note to ‘metamates’ posted on Facebook.

‘A lot has changed’

Zuckerberg said that while the current company values written for Facebook in 2007 “have been remarkably durable”, they need to be updated because “a lot has changed during this time”. Primarily, he pointed to the fact that Meta is now a “distributed” company with employees all over the world – and the new values are an attempt to unite them in the same direction.

However, some employees weren’t happy about the new values, which they saw as a form of corporate indoctrination according to three people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Washington Post.

Zuckerberg wrote in the Facebook post that “Meta, metamates, me” is about being “good stewards of our company and mission”, in language that could be seen by some as out of touch.

“It’s about the sense of responsibility we have for our collective success and to each other as teammates. It’s about taking care of our company and each other,” he wrote. “I encourage you to reflect on these values and what they mean to you as we start working on this next chapter for our company.”

Facebook has been dealing with a bad public reputation of late. Towards the end of last year, former employee Frances Haugen claimed the world’s biggest social media platform was putting profit above public good and lying about its internal research, among other allegations.

Over the past few weeks, Meta has been slammed with two different lawsuits, one from an Australian billionaire who claimed Facebook failed to prevent scam ads using his name and image, and another from the Texas attorney general for allegedly violating the state’s privacy laws with its facial recognition technology.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic