Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is now referring to staff as “Metamates” according to a memo outlining Mark Zuckerberg’s new vision for the company.
The Facebook CEO shared a list of new corporate values “that guide our work” in a lengthy social media post on Feb. 15, and references employees as “Metamates.”
“Meta, Metamates, Me is about being good stewards of our company and mission,” Zuckerberg said. “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.”
Meta executive Andrew Bosworth said on Twitter that the new employee label is a naval reference.
“Fun fact: Metamates was coined by none other than Douglas Hofstadter himself after an employee cold emailed him for ideas after our rebrand. I love it! Also the saying is a reference to a Naval phrase which Instagram has used for a while ‘Ship, Shipmates, Self’,” Bosworth said.
Elsewhere in his vision for the future of the company, Zuckerberg told staffers that there would be a number of other changes to the language used going forward.
Meta’s directive to “move fast” is being extended to “move fast together,” while “be bold” is now “build awesome things,” and the company’s values statement now includes a “focus on long term impact.”
“Focus on Long-Term Impact emphasizes long-term thinking and encourages us to extend the timeline for the impact we have, rather than optimizing for near-term wins. We should take on the challenges that will be the most impactful, even if the full results won’t be seen for year,” Zuckerberg said.
Facebook’s corporate value of “be open” is now “live in the future.”
“We wrote our current company values back in 2007. They have been remarkably durable, but a lot has changed during this time,” Zuckerberg said. “We are now a distributed company. We have a global community and wide reaching impact. And we’re now a metaverse company, building the future of social connection.”
“Now is the right time to update our values and our cultural operating system,” the CEO said.
Facebook Inc. announced it was officially changing its name to Meta on Oct. 28, shortly after the company endured leaks and so-called whistleblower complaints about its companywide practices.
The social media giant has been criticized for the way it handled internal research relating to its Instagram platform and how it can be harmful to the mental health of teenagers.
The revelations, provided by whistleblower Frances Haugen and published by the Wall Street Journal (pdf), suggested that Facebook has also potentially contributed to genocides in Myanmar and Ethiopia, among a myriad of other concerning actions.
Earlier this month, Meta said it might have to entirely stop operating Instagram and Facebook in Europe, due to strict data protection requirements regarding the transfer of personal data from Europe to the United States.
In its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company warned that its processing of data across continents is crucial for its business, particularly for ad targeting.
If it is not given the option to transfer, process, and receive data from its European users on U.S.-based servers, both Facebook and Instagram risk being shut down across Europe, the company said.