Meta's Rebranding Continues—to Laughs

Twitter users, employees ridicule changes announced Tuesday
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2022 10:30 AM CST
Meta Zaps 'Openness' From Its Values
The Meta sign at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., is seen on Oct. 28, 2021.   (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

(Newser) – Controversy-prone Meta is digging deeper into its overhaul with new company values revealed Tuesday. They didn't go over so well. As the Washington Post reports, the changes described at a virtual all-hands meeting—streamed for the first time on Facebook's virtual-reality platform, Horizon Venues—"were ridiculed by some employees internally, who described them as corporate indoctrination and out of touch." A look at what's changing:

  • No more News Feed: Facebook's main interface will now be known simply as the Feed. In an employee memo, Meta—which has been heavily criticized for distributing misinformation—noted the name News Feed suggested it was a place for news stories. A rep tells the Verge that the new name will "better reflect the diverse content people see on their Feeds."
  • Hilarious reactions: The name change prompted memes galore, and many hilarious reactions on Twitter, per Mashable. "The 'on your brains' is silent, but you know it's there," wrote @FutureBoy. "*18 months later* we hear you. we see you. Feed is now known as Trough," added @erikhane.

  • 'Be open' is gone, too: The previous corporate value of "Be open" has been replaced with "Be direct and respect your colleagues." Sources tell the Post that company's embrace of openness has suffered since whistleblower Frances Haugen came forward, with executives paranoid about further leaks. The company has also shut down certain conversations on internal communication system Workplace, where employees debate politics and share internal research, per the Post.
  • New values: "Live in the future" is among several new values. It means "being the early adopters of the future products we're building to help people feel present together no matter where they are," CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. "Build awesome things" means building products that inspire, he added.

  • Ahoy, metamates: Zuckerberg also said employees—formerly "Facebookers," now "metamates"—would be expected to first prioritize Meta, their team, then themselves: "Meta. Metamates. Me." Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth tweeted that this was a play off a Naval phrase used by Instagram: "Ship, Shipmates, Self." It's "about being good stewards of our company and mission" and "the sense of responsibility we have for our collective success," Zuckerberg wrote.
  • Long-term impact: Zuckerberg also told the company's 71,000 employees to "focus on long-term impact." This "encourages us to extend the timeline for the impact we have, rather than optimizing for near-term wins," Zuckerberg wrote. "We should take on the challenges that will be the most impactful, even if the full results won’t be seen for years."

  • Bad press: The rebranding follows days of bad headlines for Meta. On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the company, arguing it unlawfully collected facial-recognition data for commercial purposes, per the AP. And on Tuesday, Meta said it would pay $90 million to settle a decade-old class-action lawsuit over its use of cookies, which tracked users even after they logged off, per the Guardian. Meta also said it would delete the wrongfully collected data.
(Read more Meta stories.)

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