Google employees are called Googlers. The workers of Amazon are known as Amazonians. Yahoo employees were Yahoo.
So it was a puzzle for Facebook employees, long known as Facebookers, when the company changed its name to Meta late last year.
The terminology is no longer in question. At a meeting on Tuesday, Facebook founder and Metana chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced a new name for his company’s employees: Metamates.
Mr. Zuckerberg coined the term as part of Metana’s overall corporate values, which he said needed to be updated due to the company’s new direction. In October, he surprised many by moving Facebook toward so-called metavers, with various computing platforms interconnected on the Internet. The move highlighted the company’s social networking apps, such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, which are under investigation for privacy and data challenges, hateful content and misinformation.
So past Facebook values like “Be bold” and “Focus on effect”? They are gone. Instead, “Live the future,” “Create wonderful things,” “Focus on the long-term impact,” and “Meta, metamets, I,” Mr. Zuckerberg said Tuesday.
“I always believe that for values to be useful, they need to be ideas that good companies can reasonably disagree with or emphasize differently,” he wrote in a post on his Facebook page. He added, “I think these values capture how we must act as a company to bring our vision to life.”
Silicon Valley companies have long had their own language and culture. There are corporate slogans like “Don’t be evil,” “Innovation leads to innovation” and “Go ahead and break things down”. Plantier, a large data software company, also marks the “Save the Shire,” “Lord of the Rings” reference motto on employee T-shirts. They all gave birth to people from the tech world like HBO’s “Silicon Valley”.
For Mr. Zuckerberg, the latest values represent a kind of new beginning for his company, although Metavers is far from formed. But Meta employees greeted the reset with a mixed reaction on Tuesday.
On some interior platforms, hundreds of employees welcomed the changes with heart emojis. Yet in private chat messages, out of sight of administrators, some workers expressed more skepticism.
“How will this change the company? I don’t understand messaging,” one engineer wrote in a private chat viewed by The New York Times.
Another employee said he was reminded of Sonny because he had a metamet. “Does that mean we’re on a sinking ship?” The activist wrote.
Others said the new slogans contained “military motivation” or gave the impression of being “cogs in the machine,” according to employee posts reviewed by The Times. And on Twitter, a meta employee mocked the new values, replacing them with “compliant” and “obedient”. He quickly deleted the message.
Meta did not immediately comment on the employee’s posts.
Metamats was created by Moniker Douglas Hofstadter, a professor of cognitive science at Indiana University and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.” Inside Tweet Andrew Bosworth, Matana’s chief technology officer, said an employee had approached Mr. Hofstadter for ideas for rebrand.
In an email, Mr. Hofstadter said he originally suggested “teammates” to describe meta employees, as each half word is a meta anagram. In PostScript, he recommended metamet as an alternative. He added that he was unaware of the name the company had adopted.
What is Metavers and why does it matter?
Original. The term “metavers” refers to the whole real digital world that exists outside of where we live. It was created by Neil Stephenson in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash” and Ernest Klein explored the concept further in his novel “Ready Player One”.
“By the way, I don’t use Facebook and never do,” he wrote. “In fact, I avoid all social media. That’s not my style at all. But I use email! ”
Mr. Zuckerberg, in his Facebook post, advised employees to be patient with all changes to the company. One of the new values instructs employees to “focus on the long-term impact” as Facebook transitions to Metavers.
“We must face the challenges that will be most impressive, even if the full results are not seen for years,” he wrote.
Ryan Mack Contribution Report.