Facebook — err, Meta — has been on a massive rebranding mission as CEO Mark Zuckerberg attempts to steer the ship away from its former namesake, towards yet-unrealized virtual and augmented realities.
Apparently, he’s also rebranding employees themselves.
Employees at the social media giant will now refer to each other as “Metamates,” Zuckerberg announced in an employee town hall on Tuesday.
According to Meta’s vice president of augmented and virtual reality, Andrew Bosworth, the term is a play on the naval-inspired slogan used at Instagram: “ship, shipmates, self.”
Tech reporter Alex Heath was one of the first to share the news:
– last value, and I am not making this up: “Meta, metamates, me”
A slide shows this text in bold all caps next to Zuck talking
I am told Zuck said this without laughing and explained it had to do with a story about ships and shipmates
— Alex Heath (@alexeheath) February 15, 2022
As one commenter pointed out, “It’s a long long longtime Navy thing – “Ship, shipmate, self. Which makes sense when the failure of the first thing – ship – sends the other two to the bottom of the Atlantic. Very much less so when you can just go work for Google.”
Reaction to the new name probably isn’t what Zuck was hoping for:
Metamates sounds like single-serving Metamucil packets. https://t.co/PSuEQAqJc4
— John Bradley (@johnwbradley) February 15, 2022
Metamates sounds like a dating app for polyamorous people to set up their current partners with new partners https://t.co/nT5ydMbeC8
— Ellen Nitchals (@EllenNitchals) February 15, 2022
I’m sorry. I can’t.
— James Whatley (@Whatleydude) February 15, 2022
i try to not mock company branding too much — i work for techcrunch, which sounds like a cereal joke from the Silicon Valley show — but metamates is Not Good
— alex (@alex) February 15, 2022
It’s a “hold the nose” long for me. After today I have to hold my nose a little stronger.🥴
“Metamates” sounds about as appealing (to me as a shareholder) as Ballmer jumping around the stage in his “Developers-developers-developers” monkey dance.
Scratch that, LESS appealing.😩 pic.twitter.com/cNyCMf9F1z
— Conspicuous Lack of Capital (@RomanSPQR) February 15, 2022
“Metamates” sounds like a really douchey dating app
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) February 15, 2022
Omg, the early Metamates jokes are already rolling in. On one internal chat, an employee posted a head on chin emoji and asked, “does this mean we are on a sinking ship?”
— Sheera Frenkel (@sheeraf) February 15, 2022
Wait, so it’s now a Facebook (ok Meta) “company value” to put yourself last, after your employer & then your “metamates” co-workers? Why does anyone still work for this company?
— Serenity Now! (@Cpo10za) February 15, 2022
“Metamates” sounds like something a Paleo dieter will corner you and warn you is in the food you’re currently eating. https://t.co/hz1Tyqpwx2
— Elizabeth Picciuto (@epicciuto) February 15, 2022
I’m sorry but “MetaMates” sounds like a dystopian dating app https://t.co/XgD492ED7G
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) February 15, 2022
Question @ FB: How do we further alienate our own employees?
Answer? Call them Metamates! https://t.co/5fRamXdhLp
— David Teicher (@Aerocles) February 15, 2022
How do you do, fellow metamates? pic.twitter.com/sv3KXQYXnx
— Ian Brennan (@nannerb) February 15, 2022
Metamates is actually pronounced meh-tahm-ah-tees. It’s the Ancient Greek god of surveillance.
— Angus Main (@MainAngus) February 15, 2022
Dreading the day I begin getting metamates requests.
— Dan Primack (@danprimack) February 15, 2022