Facebookers are now ‘Metamates’: Mark Zuckerberg rewrites 6 corporate values to reflect metaverse rebrand

February 16, 2022, 9:48 AM UTC

On Tuesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg made an update to the company’s long-standing corporate values that Zuckerberg first penned in 2007 when the company he’d founded still called itself Facebook.

“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,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post shared on his Facebook page. “Now is the right time to update our values and our cultural operating system.”

For Meta and its staff, that means putting the company’s interests first and above all else; one of Zuckerberg’s six new guiding stars is the motto, “Meta, Metamates, Me.”

“Meta, Metamates, Me is about being good stewards of our company and mission. 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,” Zuckerberg said.

“Meta, Metamates, Me” is a riff on the U.S. Navy’s order of priorities—ship, shipmates, self— which, according to inbound Meta chief technology officer Andrew Bosworth, has long been a guiding principle at Meta-owned Instagram.

Bosworth also says that the term Metamates was coined by the physicist Douglas Hofstadter after a Meta employee, for some reason, cold emailed Hofstadter for “ideas after our rebrand.”

Whether the name catches on among Meta’s crew—formerly known as Facebookers—remains to be seen. But the notion of employees putting the company above all else rings a little sinister, considering Facebook’s rebrand occurred while the company was fighting a whistleblower scandal.

Last year, former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked details of how the company, in her own words, “prioritized their own profits over public safety and [put] people’s lives at risk.”

In October, Haugen leaked internal documents, dubbed the Facebook Papers, that showed how the company was unable to tackle hate speech on its platform, ignored reports that its own apps damage the mental health of teen girls, and was gripped by internal dissent over its policies.

Zuckerberg dismissed the leak as a “coordinated effort” to “paint a false picture of our company.” Then, in October last year, the company launched a massive rebrand, renamed itself Meta, and began hyping the metaverse.

Hyping the metaverse is essentially a core tenet of Meta’s six new company values, too, which Zuckerberg outlined in a corporate all-hands meeting before posting the list on his Facebook page. In short, the six new principles are:

  1. Move Fast
  2. Focus on Long-Term Impact
  3. Build Awesome Things
  4. Live in the Future
  5. Be Direct and Respect Your Colleagues
  6. Meta, Metamates, Me

Metamates aren’t required to “Be Bold,” as Facebook staff were, and “Be Direct” appears to have replaced “Be Open.” Focusing on “Long-Term Impact” is a new demand, too. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg’s new rules continue to rein in Facebook’s most famous aphorism: “Move fast and break things.”

In 2014, the disruptive directive was swapped for the tamer “Move fast with stable infrastructure.” Now, Meta wants staff to move fast “together…in one direction as a company.”

In other words: Full sail, Metamates! There’s virtual land on the Horizon.

Fortune’s upcoming Brainstorm Design conference is going to dive into how businesses are building experiences in the metaverse. Apply to attend the event on May 23-24 in New York.

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