It’s the dawn of a new era for the company formerly known as Facebook, and to truly establish its evolution into “Meta”, CEO Mark Zuckerberg today held an all-staff meeting to announce updated Meta values in line with its new, more forward-looking focus.
The company’s value statements have been a key driver of its strategic changes over time, beginning with the ‘Move fast and break things‘, which lasted between 2009 and 2014, before being updated to the more placid ‘Move fast with a stable infrastructure‘. Because breaking things wasn’t necessarily a good thing to associate with.
Meta updated its mission statement again in 2017, to “Making the world more open and connected,” which didn’t quite capture everything Zuck wanted. So he updated again a year later to “Empowering people to build community and bring the world together”. which is usually abbreviated as “Bringing the world together” as the main objective.
Many people scoffed at this, given the role the platform would have played in the 2016 US election, but it’s still Meta’s overriding, overriding ambition. has been striving since.
So what is Meta’s new mission?
The new directive incorporates elements of all these past factors, in a larger collection.
- Mtoo soon together
- Build awesome things
- Focus on long-term impact
- Live in the future
- To be open
The only omission here is a mention of “community” or “building community”, the focus again being more aligned with development, as it turns to metaverse change.
Which is still in development, and nobody knows exactly how it will play out, at least in a meta-structured context. Metaverse versions have been around for a while, especially in games, so there’s a broad concept of what a digital world might look like that recreates real-world interaction. But Meta’s vision will seek to build on what exists and incorporate new elements – making it difficult to say, at this stage, if and how all of these pieces will come together, and what role Meta will ultimately play in the broader context. structural framework.
As we noted recently, much of what Meta has touted as its vision for the Metaverse is actually just virtual reality, with user avatars engaging in fully immersive digital spaces.
Which sounds great, although Meta’s fully interactive VR world is still a long way off. But if that’s the vision Meta is working towards, then he’s clearly showing the way, with sales of its VR Quest 2 headsets on the riseand Meta buy VR studios and developers to dominate the space.
Yet, at the same time, these visions don’t necessarily incorporate AR, for which Meta is developing new wearable and interactive devices, and they don’t extend to other metaverse-aligned developments like cryptocurrency, NFTs, advanced AI and more.
All of these disparate pieces will likely play a role, but what’s most interesting is how Meta’s rebranding has emphasized the “metaverse” as a larger concept that every developer of n any tech space is now striving to add “metaverse ready”. to their tools and applications, even though they have no idea what “ready for the metaverse” really means.
This is why the current discussion around Web3 and its related stuff is still too early, because who knows how it will all fit together. Each element will be its own thing, and each should be explored in its own time and space. And by referring to things as aligned with the Metaverse, all you’re really doing is playing into the narrative that Meta will own the Metaverse.
That’s probably what Zuck and Co. want, but it’s worth noting the company’s massive influence in the market and how that impacts its positioning for the next shift.
Which brings us back to the new Meta values and its realignment around “fast moving” as it moves to the next stage.
Really, that’s where we are – we’ve gone back to the old Facebook in a way, with the desire to develop new experiences and beat the competition, to establish a platform that, a once it’s in place, will then see Meta’s focus refocus on community and social good, which Facebook eventually pivoted to once it was big enough.
But at the same time, he also pivoted too late. Facebook became more aware of the negative impact of its apps once they were created, evolving rapidly, which is when it then decided to “bring the world together” and focus on improving community engagement.
Will this also happen in the metaverse? Will this new mission overview see Meta focus more on “moving fast” and “building awesome things”, while overlooking the potential downsides and societal damage that could also result?
I guess that’s what the “focus on long-term impact” rating is there to counter, to give developers added momentum to build with sustainability and, ideally, safety in mind.
But I do not know. It seems that accelerating product development and stepping into the future is the main impetus here.
There’s also “Be Open,” which I’d bet Meta will build on with its commitment to building its infrastructure in partnership with others. But in reality, I suspect it will actually be interpreted internally as building systems that others can also build for, which will eventually see Meta hosting the foundations of the metaverse as it sees it.
For all his talk about ‘no company owns the metaverseit increasingly looks like only one company will do just that.
And a final note. Meta employees will now be referred to internally as “Metamates”.
Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth confirmed this and provided some background on the terminology:
Fun Fact: Metamates was invented by none other than Douglas Hofstadter himself after an employee cold emailed him asking for ideas after we rebranded. I love it!
The saying also references a naval phrase that Instagram has been using for some time “Ship, Shipmates, Self”
— Boz (@boztank) February 15, 2022
So Metamates. Pretty cool, right?
I could it can’t be worse than ‘Nooglers‘, which someone must have also once found to be incredibly smart and witty.