Every company has its own nicknames for procedures, leaders, products, and employees. At Google, for example, the workforce is collectively referred to as “Googlers,” while Amazon (perhaps inevitably) calls its employees “Amazonians.”
For a long time, Facebook termed its employees “Facebookers.” But with the company’s high-profile name change to “Meta,” it needed a new name. And so Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg settled on “Metamates.”
That’s according to The New York Times, which relied on an unnamed source present at the internal meeting where Zuckerberg announced the new name. Zuckerberg subsequently confirmed it in a corporate blog posting, which he also used to announce updates to the company’s “values and… cultural operating system.”
Some of those “new” values align closely with the company’s old ones, including “Move Fast” (but dumps the “…and break things” part that helped define Facebook’s ethos for so many years). Others seem head-thuddingly obvious, including “Focus on Long-Term Impact,” “Build Awesome Things,” and “Live in the Future.”
In a nod to the need for a positive internal culture if Zuckerberg’s going to pull off his ultra-ambitious product roadmap, the other values include “Be Direct and Respect Your Colleagues” and “Meta, Metamates, and Me.”
According to Blind, which surveys anonymous technologists on a range of issues, some 84 percent of Meta employees think the company’s rebranding was a good decision. Nearly as many (77 percent) think the company will succeed in its ambitious plans to build the “metaverse,” Zuckerberg’s buzzword for an ecosystem of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) apps that will supposedly change how all of us work, play, and interact.
Technologists at other companies are much more pessimistic about Meta’s chances. Only 60 percent of Microsoft technologists think the Metamates will pull off this particular caper, for example, along with 67 percent of Googlers.
In addition to shifting hundreds of employees onto metaverse-related projects, Meta is also hiring hundreds of AR and VR roles. If you’re interested in working in VR and AR, key technology skills to learn include Python, C++, and the principles of project management and software development, all of which pop up in VR and AR job postings. Although the current number of AR and VR positions is relatively tiny, you can expect it to rise as more companies pour resources into this technology ecosystem.