Cool Leaders

Meta to support creators hurt by Apple

By Mark Zuckerberg, Meta

As we build for the metaverse, we’re focused on unlocking opportunities for creators to make money from their work. The 30% fees that Apple takes on transactions make it harder to do that, so we’re updating our Subscriptions product so now creators can earn more.

We’re launching a promotional link for creators for their Subscriptions offering. When people subscribe using this link, creators will keep all the money they earn (minus taxes).

Creators will have more ownership of their audience — we’re giving the ability for them to download the email addresses of all of their new subscribers.

We’re launching a bonus program that pays creators for each new subscriber they get as part of our $1 billion creator investment announced this summer. More to come.

Cool Leaders

The cat’s (officially) out of the bag

By Andrew Bosworth (Boz), Facebook/Meta

Well the cat’s (officially) out of the bag: Our company is now Meta to better reflect who we are and our ambitions to help build the metaverse. Our org will become Reality Labs and our work is a key part of that future.

We’re focused on human connection and bringing people together. And we’ve believed in the power of new technologies to transcend space and time since our inception. The last 18 months have only strengthened our conviction. Allowing people who are physically apart to share experiences as if they were together in the same place is incredibly powerful. That’s what the metaverse will be about.

Today I want to share publicly why we made these brand decisions for the company, what it means for my organization, and where we go from here.

Reality Labs

One year ago we changed our org name from AR/VR to Facebook Reality Labs as a way to encompass the expansive work we do. We’re updating our name again to Reality Labs for the very same reason — to better make the connection that our org is building the technology that will enable the future metaverse.

While our org name is changing, our mission remains the same: “to build the tools that help people feel connected anytime, anywhere.” When we wrote this mission statement, we wanted to ensure it reflected our work but was flexible enough to grow alongside our org. And it has — even as we’ve expanded to include new teams like Metaverse, AI, Workplace, and Developer Platform and expanded our scope and remit.

Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll cascade these name changes to Reality Labs Research and other teams, as well as to our internal and external sites.

Realigning our product branding

We’re bringing our brands and products closer to Meta, which is the umbrella for all our products and services. When people buy our products, we want them to clearly understand that all of these devices come from Meta and ladder up to our metaverse vision. That’s why we’re evolving our brand across our current lines of hardware in-market, as well as for all future products, in order to bring more consistency across the portfolio and more transparency to consumers.

VR will be the most immersive way for people to access the metaverse and as we look toward our goal of bringing 1B people into VR, we want to make it clear that Quest is a Meta product. For this reason, we’re simplifying our brand architecture and shifting away from the Oculus brand for our hardware. Starting in early 2022, you’ll start to see the shift from Oculus Quest from Facebook to Meta Quest and Oculus App to Meta Quest App over time.

We all have a strong attachment to the Oculus brand, and this was a very difficult decision to make. While we’re changing the brand of the hardware we are still going to use it in software around things like developer tools and studios. I can assure you that the original Oculus vision remains deeply embedded in how Meta will continue to drive mass adoption for VR today.

We’ll also expand Meta Horizon as the brand that will encompass all of our first-party immersive social experiences. You’ve seen this already with Horizon Workrooms and Horizon Worlds. Soon you’ll see us shift from Oculus to Horizon Home, Horizon Venues, Horizon Friends, and Horizon Profile.

As we’ve focused more on work, and as we’ve heard feedback from the VR community more broadly, we’re working on new ways to log into Quest that won’t require a Facebook account, landing sometime next year. This is one of our highest priority areas of work internally.

Over the next few months, you’ll see a phased rollout of the brand across all the relevant products and services — including Facebook Portal to Meta Portal. This shift from one brand identity to another is not a trivial one, and it must be done thoughtfully to ensure brand equity and transparency.

What’s next

It is daunting to think of how much work there is to achieve the metaverse vision we laid out at Connect. But I am comforted when I think of how much progress we have made over the last four years that I’ve been working with this team. That work laid the foundation for the broader metaverse vision that we are now focused on as a company. Not much will fundamentally change for our work or our deliverables in the near term, but over time this will serve as a unifying force.

Cool Leaders

Introducing Meta

By Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook/Meta


We are at the beginning of the next chapter for the internet, and it’s the next chapter for our company too.

In recent decades, technology has given people the power to connect and express ourselves more naturally. When I started Facebook, we mostly typed text on websites. When we got phones with cameras, the internet became more visual and mobile. As connections got faster, video became a richer way to share experiences. We’ve gone from desktop to web to mobile; from text to photos to video. But this isn’t the end of the line.

The next platform will be even more immersive — an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build.

The defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence — like you are right there with another person or in another place. Feeling truly present with another person is the ultimate dream of social technology. That is why we are focused on building this.

In the metaverse, you’ll be able to do almost anything you can imagine — get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create — as well as completely new experiences that don’t really fit how we think about computers or phones today. We made a film that explores how you might use the metaverse one day.

In this future, you will be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parents’ living room to catch up. This will open up more opportunity no matter where you live. You’ll be able to spend more time on what matters to you, cut down time in traffic, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Think about how many physical things you have today that could just be holograms in the future. Your TV, your perfect work setup with multiple monitors, your board games and more — instead of physical things assembled in factories, they’ll be holograms designed by creators around the world.

You’ll move across these experiences on different devices — augmented reality glasses to stay present in the physical world, virtual reality to be fully immersed, and phones and computers to jump in from existing platforms. This isn’t about spending more time on screens; it’s about making the time we already spend better.


The metaverse will not be created by one company. It will be built by creators and developers making new experiences and digital items that are interoperable and unlock a massively larger creative economy than the one constrained by today’s platforms and their policies.

Our role in this journey is to accelerate the development of the fundamental technologies, social platforms and creative tools to bring the metaverse to life, and to weave these technologies through our social media apps. We believe the metaverse can enable better social experiences than anything that exists today, and we will dedicate our energy to helping achieve its potential.

As I wrote in our original founder’s letter: “we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”

This approach has served us well. We’ve built our business to support very large and long term investments to build better services, and that’s what we plan to do here.

The last five years have been humbling for me and our company in many ways. One of the main lessons I’ve learned is that building products people love isn’t enough.

I’ve gained more appreciation that the internet’s story isn’t straightforward. Every chapter brings new voices and new ideas, but also new challenges, risks, and disruption of established interests. We’ll need to work together, from the beginning, to bring the best possible version of this future to life.

Privacy and safety need to be built into the metaverse from day one. So do open standards and interoperability. This will require not just novel technical work — like supporting crypto and NFT projects in the community — but also new forms of governance. Most of all, we need to help build ecosystems so that more people have a stake in the future and can benefit not just as consumers but as creators.

This period has also been humbling because as big of a company as we are, we’ve also learned what it’s like to build on other platforms. Living under their rules has profoundly shaped my views on the tech industry. I’ve come to believe that the lack of choice for consumers and high fees for developers are stifling innovation and holding back the internet economy.

We’ve tried to take a different approach. We want our services to be accessible to as many people as possible, which means working to make them cost less, not more. Our mobile apps are free. Our ads model is designed to provide businesses the lowest prices. Our commerce tools are available at cost or with modest fees. As a result, billions of people love our services and hundreds of millions of businesses rely on our tools.

That’s the approach we want to bring to helping to build the metaverse. We plan to sell our devices at cost or subsidized to make them available to more people. We’ll continue supporting side-loading and streaming from PCs so people have choice, rather than forcing them to use the Quest Store to find apps or reach customers. And we’ll aim to offer developer and creator services with low fees in as many cases as possible so we can maximize the overall creative economy. We’ll need to make sure we don’t lose too much money along the way though.

Our hope is that within the next decade, the metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers.


As we embark on this next chapter, I’ve thought a lot about what this means for our company and our identity.

We’re a company that focuses on connecting people. While most tech companies focus on how people interact with technology, we’ve always focused on building technology so people can interact with each other.

Today we’re seen as a social media company. Facebook is one of the most used technology products in the history of the world. It’s an iconic social media brand.

Building social apps will always be important for us, and there’s a lot more to build. But increasingly, it’s not all we do. In our DNA, we build technology to bring people together. The metaverse is the next frontier in connecting people, just like social networking was when we got started.

Right now our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything we’re doing today, let alone in the future. Over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.

We just announced that we’re making a fundamental change to our company. We’re now looking at and reporting on our business as two different segments: one for our family of apps and one for our work on future platforms. Our work on the metaverse is not just one of these segments. The metaverse encompasses both the social experiences and future technology. As we broaden our vision, it’s time for us to adopt a new brand.

To reflect who we are and the future we hope to build, I’m proud to share that our company is now Meta.

Our mission remains the same — it’s still about bringing people together. Our apps and their brands aren’t changing either. We’re still the company that designs technology around people.

But all of our products, including our apps, now share a new vision: to help bring the metaverse to life. And now we have a name that reflects the breadth of what we do.

From now on, we will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first. That means that over time you won’t need a Facebook account to use our other services. As our new brand starts showing up in our products, I hope people around the world come to know the Meta brand and the future we stand for.

I used to study Classics, and the word “meta” comes from the Greek word meaning “beyond”. For me, it symbolizes that there is always more to build, and there is always a next chapter to the story. Ours is a story that started in a dorm room and grew beyond anything we imagined; into a family of apps that people use to connect with one another, to find their voice, and to start businesses, communities, and movements that have changed the world.

I’m proud of what we’ve built so far, and I’m excited about what comes next — as we move beyond what’s possible today, beyond the constraints of screens, beyond the limits of distance and physics, and towards a future where everyone can be present with each other, create new opportunities and experience new things. It is a future that is beyond any one company and that will be made by all of us.

We have built things that have brought people together in new ways. We’ve learned from struggling with difficult social issues and living under closed platforms. Now it is time to take everything we’ve learned and help build the next chapter.

I’m dedicating our energy to this — more than any other company in the world. If this is the future you want to see, I hope you’ll join us. The future is going to be beyond anything we can imagine.

Cool Leaders

Billions of people use our services because we build the best tools

By Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

There’s a lot going on right now, and I just discussed it in our earnings call. I also talked about some of the new stuff we’re building. Here’s what I said:

Hey everyone and thanks for joining today.

We made good progress this quarter across a number of product priorities, and our community continues to grow. There are now almost 3.6 billion people who actively use one or more of our services, and I’m excited about our roadmap to keep building great new experiences for them.

As expected, we did experience revenue headwinds this quarter, including from Apple’s changes that are not only negatively affecting our business, but millions of small businesses in what is already a difficult time for them in the economy. Sheryl and Dave will talk about this more later, but the bottom line is we expect we’ll be able to navigate these headwinds over time with investments that we’re already making today.

Before I get to our product update, I want to discuss the recent debate around our company.

I believe large organizations should be scrutinized and I’d much rather live in a society where they are than one where they can’t be. Good faith criticism helps us get better. But my view is that what we’re seeing is a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company.

The reality is that we have an open culture where we encourage discussion and research about our work so we can make progress on many complex issues that are not specific to just us. We have industry-leading programs to study the effects of our products and provide transparency into our progress because we care about getting this right.

When we make decisions, we need to balance competing social equities, like free expression with reducing harmful content, or enabling strong encrypted privacy with supporting law enforcement, or enabling research and interoperability with locking down data as much as possible. It makes a good soundbite to say that we don’t solve these impossible tradeoffs because we’re just focused on making money, but the reality is these questions are not primarily about our business, but about balancing difficult social values. And I’ve repeatedly called for regulation to provide clarity because I don’t think companies should be making so many of these decisions ourselves.

I’m proud of our record navigating the complex tradeoffs involved in operating services at global scale, and I’m proud of the research and transparency we bring to our work. Our programs are industry-leading. We have made massive investments in safety and security with more than 40,000 people and we are on track to spend more than $5 billion on safety and security in 2021. I believe that’s more than any other tech company, even adjusted for scale. We set the standard for transparency with our quarterly enforcement reports and tools like the political ads archive. We established a new model for independent academic researchers to safely access data. We pioneered the Oversight Board as a model of self-regulation. And as a result, we believe our systems are the most effective at reducing harmful content across the industry. I think that any honest account of how we’ve handled these issues should include that.

I also think that any honest account should be clear that these issues aren’t primarily about social media. That means that no matter what Facebook does, we’re never going to solve them on our own. For example, polarization started rising in the US before I was born. At the same time, independent research shows that many countries around the world have flat or declining polarization, despite similar social media use there to in the US. We see this pattern repeat with other issues as well. The reality is, if social media is not the main driver of these issues, then it probably can’t fix them by itself either.

We should want every other company in our industry to make the investments and achieve the results that we have. I worry about the incentives that we’re creating for other companies to be as introspective as we have been. But I am committed to continuing this work, because I believe it will be better for our community and our business over the long term.

We can’t change the underlying media dynamics, but there’s a different constituency that we serve that has always been more important and that I try to keep us focused on: and that’s people.

Billions of people use our services because we build the best tools to stay connected to the people you care about, to find communities that matter to you, and to grow your small business.

And the reason we’ve been able to succeed for almost two decades is because we keep evolving and building. Facebook started in a dorm room and grew into a global website. We invented the News Feed and a new kind of ads platform. We became a mobile-first experience. And then we grew a whole family of apps that serve billions of people.

And there is so much more to build. Even with all the tools we have today, we still can’t feel like we’re right there together with the people we care about when we’re physically apart. We can’t teleport as holograms to instantly be at the office without a commute, or a concert with a friend, or in your parents’ living room to catch up. The creative economy and commerce tools are still nascent and there should be opportunity for millions of people to make a living doing work they love.

Our three product priorities remain our focus on creators, commerce, and building the next computing platform.

A big part of our work with creators is our focus on Reels. Reels is already the primary driver of engagement growth on Instagram. It’s incredibly entertaining, and I think there is a huge amount of potential ahead. We expect this to continue growing and I am optimistic that this will be as important for our products as Stories is. We also expect to make significant changes to Instagram and Facebook in the next year to further lean into video and make Reels a more central part of the experience.

One aspect of this is giving all our apps the goal of being the best services for young adults, which we define as ages 18-29. Historically, young adults have been a strong base and that’s important because they are the future. But over the last decade, as the audience that uses our apps has expanded so much and we’ve focused on serving everyone, our services have gotten dialed to be best for the most people who use them rather than specifically for young adults. And during this period, competition has also gotten more intense, especially with Apple’s iMessage growing in popularity and more recently the rise of TikTok, which is one of the most effective competitors that we have ever faced.

So we are retooling our teams to make serving young adults their north star, rather than optimizing for the larger number of older people. Like everything, this will involve tradeoffs in our products and it will likely mean that the rest of our community will grow more slowly than it otherwise would have. But it should also mean that our services become stronger for young adults. This shift will take years, not months, to fully execute, and I think it’s the right approach to building our community and company for the long term.

Our next product priority is commerce. Helping people discover new products that they’re interested in and reach customers inside our apps is going to unlock a lot of opportunities.

As Apple’s changes make e-commerce and customer acquisition less effective on the web, solutions that allow businesses to set up shop right inside our apps will become increasingly attractive and important to them. We’ve built solutions like ads that can dynamically point to either a business’s website or their Shop on our platforms depending on what will perform better for them, and that will help more businesses navigate this challenging environment.

Building a full-fledged commerce platform is a multi-year journey. Marketplace is already at scale and lots of people rely on it, especially now with supply chain issues that make it harder to get new products. Shops are getting more developed, and we have an exciting program planned for this holiday season where we’re working closely with a number of the businesses that have invested the most in Shops to identify what works to find new customers and grow their businesses even faster. Our plan is to then scale those solutions more broadly in 2022.

Beyond Reels and commerce, I also want to share some thoughts on our longer-term efforts to build the next computing platform and bring the metaverse to life. This is a major area of investment for us and an important part of our strategy going forward.

And I view this work as critical to our mission because delivering a sense of presence — like you’re right there with another person – that’s the holy grail of online social experiences. Over the next decade, these new platforms are going to start to unlock the kinds of experiences I’ve wanted to build since even before I started Facebook. Along with those social experiences I expect a massive increase in the creator economy and amount of digital goods and commerce. If you’re in the metaverse every day, then you’ll need digital clothes and digital tools, and different experiences. Our goal is to help the metaverse reach a billion people and hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce this decade. And strategically, helping to shape the next platform should reduce our dependence on delivering our services through competitors.

Building the foundational platforms for the metaverse will be a long road. We just released the 128GB Quest 2, replacing the 64GB model for $299. With EssilorLuxottica, we released our first smart glasses, and they’re off to a strong start as well. But bringing this vision to life isn’t just about building one glasses product. There’s a whole ecosystem. We’re building multiple generations of our VR and AR products at the same time, as well as a new operating system and development model, a digital commerce platform, content studios, and of course a social platform.

To reflect the significance of this for our business, today we’re announcing a change to our financial reporting. Starting next quarter, we’ll begin disclosing financial metrics for Facebook Reality Labs separately from our Family of Apps. This will provide investors with additional visibility into the investments that we’re making in augmented and virtual reality. In 2021, we expect these investments to reduce our overall operating profit by approximately $10 billion, and I expect this investment to grow even further for each of the next several years. Dave will share more about this later, but I encourage you all to tune into Connect on Thursday to hear more about our vision and our work here in more detail.

I recognize the magnitude of this bet on the future, and I’m grateful for the support of our investors, the creative community, and the thousands of talented people working on this effort inside our company to bring this inspiring future to life.

Cool Leaders

Facebook 17

By Mark Zuckerberg

17 years ago, the first students signed up for Facebook and started connecting with friends. It’s been a wild journey ever since and I want to thank all of you for being part of this community.

I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together these last 17 years, but I’m even more optimistic about the years ahead.

The world faces historic challenges right now and we’re committed to doing our part to help. Last year, we ran the largest voter information campaign in recent history and helped more than 4 million people register and vote. This year, we’ll run the largest worldwide campaign promoting authoritative Covid vaccine information to help put this pandemic behind us.

We’re building the community infrastructure to support the diversity of communities needed for everyone in the world to join ones that are meaningful in their lives. I think this is one of the most important things we can do to help strengthen our social fabric.

We’re building privacy-focused social platforms from the bottom up based on end-to-end encryption in WhatsApp and Messenger, and then building lots of private social tools like groups, video calling, payments, co-watching, and more on top of that foundation.

We’re building commerce tools to give more than 200 million small businesses the same tools that historically only bigger companies have had — from tools to reach customers to ways to easily set up a shop on Facebook and Instagram even when your physical store is closed.

We’re building the next major computing platform with augmented and virtual reality. It will deliver the experience of “presence” — that you’re right there with another person. It will open opportunities by letting you teleport anywhere without having to commute.

And we’re building a new model of governance for online communities. The Oversight Board is one piece that provides independent and binding appeals, and now we’re working to establish more aspects of independent community governance in the years ahead.

If we can accomplish these goals, then the years ahead will be even more exciting than the 17 years so far. Thanks for being on this journey with us.

Cool Leaders

There are four big themes Facebook are focused on for the year ahead

By Mark Zuckerberg

I just shared our community update and quarterly results. There are four big themes I’m focused on for the year ahead: communities, private messaging, commerce tools for small businesses, and building the next computing platform. Here’s what I said about each on our earnings call:

Our community and business had a strong end of the year. As Covid continued to keep many of us apart and at home, people and businesses continued relying on our services to stay in touch and create economic opportunity. 2.6 billion people now use one or more of our apps each day and more than 200 million businesses — mostly small businesses — use our free tools to reach customers.

Those numbers give a sense of scale, but some of the stories we hear show the impact. Groups have formed where Covid long-haulers are helping each other through a scary experience where there’s not much else to turn to. Teachers are sending class assignments to students through WhatsApp. Local bookstores and coffee shops are using Instagram to let customers know they’re open for curbside pick-up. People came together to raise over $1.8 billion for nonprofits and personal causes through our fundraising tools last year — including $175 million for Covid-related causes alone. I’m proud of the role our services played in helping people support each other during what has been such a hard time.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time on recent earnings calls talking about our election integrity efforts, so I’m not going to discuss them at length today, but I do want to call out that, according to our estimates, we easily surpassed our goal to help 4 million people register to vote as part of the largest effort to distribute authoritative voting information in recent history — and I want to thank everyone in our teams and outside involved with that effort.

Today I’m going to focus on our product work, and specifically I’m going to focus on four themes that I’m excited about for the year ahead: communities, private messaging, commerce tools for small businesses, and building the next computing platform.

Let’s start with communities. I think that helping people build communities is one of the most important things that we can do. Our social fabric is made of multiple different layers through which we get our social support. First, we all have friends and family. That’s the most personal layer. Then we have communities we’re part of — where we feel a sense of purpose and belonging, explore interests, develop skills, grow as individuals, and meet new people. And finally, there’s the safety net that society and government provide. In many parts of the world, there’s been an unfortunate decline in community participation over the last several decades – that’s that second layer. This isn’t something that we can solve alone, but I think we can help. So now that we’ve helped billions of people stay connected with friends and family, helping everyone find and participate in communities that are meaningful to them has been our next goal. We even updated our mission a few years ago to reflect this, making it: “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

Today, more than 600 million people are members of a group on Facebook that they consider to be meaningful in their lives. This has grown steadily over time — and I hear all the time from people who are in parenting groups that they’re a major resource as they navigate raising kids, or from people who found a group that shares the same health condition and they can lean on that community for knowledge and support, or from people who’ve moved to a new place and joined local groups to meet people and get situated.

Our product focus now is to develop this community infrastructure beyond feeds and message boards to help people build and run full self-sustaining community institutions. So we’re building tools to help groups get things done together and provide support for more people that span messaging, video chat, and even communities’ own websites. And we are exploring different ways to raise funds, including donations, merchandise and membership fees, to help group leaders support their community’s operations, and hire people for different roles needed to build sustainable communities for the long term.

As we continue to focus on this, we need to make sure that the communities people connect with are healthy and positive, and that’s something we’ve been focused on for a while now. One way of course that we do this is by taking down groups that break our rules against things like violence or hate speech. In September, we shared that we had removed more than 1 million groups in the last year alone. But there are also a lot of groups that we may not want to encourage people to join, even if they don’t violate our policies. So for example, we stopped recommending civic and political groups in the US ahead of the elections. We’re continuing to fine tune how this works, but now we plan to keep civic and political groups out of recommendations for the long term, and we plan to expand that policy globally. To be clear, this is a continuation of work we’ve been doing for a while to turn down the temperature and discourage divisive conversations and communities.

Now, along these same lines, we’re currently considering steps we could take to reduce the amount of political content in News Feed as well. We’re still working through exactly the best ways to do this. And to be clear, of course we’ll still enable people to engage in political groups and discussions if they want to. These can often be important and helpful. They can be ways to organize grassroots movements, speak out against injustice, or learn from people with different perspectives. So we want these discussions to be able to keep happening. But one of the top pieces of feedback we’re hearing from our community right now is that people don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services.
So one theme for this year is that we’re going to continue to focus on helping millions more people participate in healthy communities and we’re going to focus even more on being a force for bringing people closer together.

Next, let’s talk about private messaging. As we’ve discussed before, while people enjoy connecting with friends and communities in the digital equivalent of a town square in apps like Facebook and Instagram, the fastest growing social experiences are about connecting privately in the digital equivalent of the living room in services like WhatsApp and Messenger. That’s why we kicked off a big effort a couple of years ago to re-imagine what a modern social platform would look like if you built it from the bottom up to be privacy-first.

We identified several core principles. A private social platform should be built around the most intimate interactions that we have, and that’s one-on-one conversations. The most important aspect of privacy and security is that your conversations should stay between you. That means your conversations should always be end-to-end encrypted and they should disappear when you’re done with them. Safety and reducing spam matter too, and that means we should maintain a minimum amount of metadata to build sophisticated tools to stop bad actors using these services. And you should have choice of what services you use, so we should make messaging as interoperable as possible across our apps. And finally, no matter what, we should only store people’s data in countries where we know we can keep it secure — and we should continue opposing data localization in countries with weak records on human rights or privacy.

I think these are the privacy principles that matter most to people — first and foremost people care that their conversations stay private, but after that people care about safety and other convenience too. And from this perspective, WhatsApp — and the direction we’re heading in with Messenger — are the best private social apps available.

We have a lot of competitors who make claims about privacy that are often misleading. Apple recently released so-called nutrition labels which focus largely on metadata apps collect rather than the privacy and security of people’s actual messages. But iMessage stores non-end-to-end encrypted backups of your messages by default unless you disable iCloud, so Apple and governments have the ability to access most people’s messages. So when it comes to what matters most — protecting people’s messages, I think that WhatsApp is clearly superior.

Now, since I try to use these earnings calls to discuss aspects of business strategy that I think are important for investors to understand, I do want to highlight that we increasingly see Apple as one of our biggest competitors. iMessage is a key linchpin of their ecosystem. It comes pre-installed on every iPhone and they’ve preferenced it with private APIs and permissions, which is why iMessage is the most used messaging service in the US. And now, we’re also seeing Apple’s business depend more and more on gaining share in services against us and other developers. Apple has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do to preference their own. This impacts the growth of millions of businesses around the world, including with their upcoming iOS 14 changes, so many small businesses will no longer be able to reach their customers with targeted ads. Apple may say that they’re doing this to help people, but the moves clearly track their competitive interests. I think this dynamic is important for people to understand because we and others are going to be up against it for the foreseeable future.

Our messaging services continue growing, but it’s an uphill battle and our services just need to be that much better as private social platforms to succeed. To make sure we remain the best, a couple years back we kicked off a number of long-term efforts that have started shipping recently, and more of these projects around strengthening encryption, ephemerality, interoperability and offering other tools are going to be shipping throughout this year.

Now, let’s talk about commerce. Our goal here is to give every individual entrepreneur and small business access to the same kinds of tools that historically only the big companies have had access to. We’ve always cared about this, but the pandemic has made it more urgent.

It used to be the case that only large companies could afford to have analytics or targeted advertising capacity to reach their customers. It was expensive to build these capabilities and often required building teams and storing large amounts of data in-house, which most small businesses can’t do. One of the things I’m most proud of is that we build the tools so we can offer these same capabilities to small businesses, often for free. So when you hear people say that we hold a lot of data, that’s because hundreds of millions of businesses that would have otherwise had to do this individually and would have had no easy way of doing so are now using our services to help them reach customers. When you hear people say that we’re connecting data from lots of sources, that’s to help small businesses reach customers more efficiently. Big companies often do this themselves, but small businesses can’t a lot of times, so we do this for them. When you hear people argue that we shouldn’t do these things — or that we should go back to the old days of untargeted television ads – I think that what they are really arguing for is a regression where only the largest companies have this capacity, small businesses are severely disadvantaged, and competition is diminished.

With our commerce tools, we’ve made it so a business can set up a shop once, and then they’ll have an online storefront in both Facebook and Instagram immediately, and eventually on WhatsApp and Messenger as well. We recently expanded checkout to all US businesses, making the process of buying a lot more seamless. And as lockdowns have continued, we saw more small businesses and creators also use Paid Online Events to make money.

WhatsApp is also an important part of our strategy here. More than 175 million people message a WhatsApp business account every day and we’re building new features to make it even easier to transact with businesses in the app. We introduced carts, which lets people browse catalogs, select multiple products, and send the order as a message to the business.

The more that people interact with businesses, the better tools that we’re going to need to provide for businesses to help them support their customers. Many businesses need more than a phone to manage their customer service, so we’re building tools to let businesses store and manage their WhatsApp chats using our secure hosting infrastructure if they would like. We’re in the process of updating WhatsApp’s privacy policy and terms of service to reflect these optional experiences.

Now, to clarify some confusion that we’ve seen, this update does not change the privacy of anyone’s messages with friends and family. All of these messages are end-to-end encrypted – which means we can’t see or hear what you say, and we never will unless the person you message chooses to share it. And business messages will only be hosted on our infrastructure if the business chooses to do so. We want everyone to know the lengths we go to protect your private messages, so we’re moving the date of this update back to give everyone time to understand what the update means.

Finally, let’s discuss our work building the next computing platform. This is one of the areas where I’m most excited about our progress heading into 2021. If you look at the history of computing, every 15 years or so a new major platform emerges that integrates technology more naturally and ubiquitously into our lives — starting with mainframes, then PCs, then browser-based computing, and then mobile. And I believe the next logical step is an immersive computing platform that delivers this magical sense of presence — that you’re really there with another person or in another place. Our phones can’t deliver this, and neither can any technology that has come before it. This is going to unlock the types of social experiences I’ve dreamed of building since I was a kid, and it’s what we’re building towards at Facebook Reality Labs.

We launched Quest 2 in October and it’s on track to be the first mainstream virtual reality headset. We designed it so anyone could jump in — with the best and most immersive experience out there — and at a price that makes it available to as many people as possible. I think that Facebook has done more than any other company to bring virtual reality to the mainstream. It’s been great to see so many people embrace this, especially this year during the pandemic. We’re seeing people use it to play games with friends when they can’t be together in person, do workouts in their living room, or to meet with colleagues while working from home. There are a lot of reasons Quest 2 was one of the hot holiday gifts this year.

We’re also seeing a growing ecosystem of developers building amazing new experiences for the platform. Right now, more than 60 Oculus developers are generating revenue in the millions — nearly twice as many as a few months ago.

In previous quarters, I’ve talked about our long term, future goals when it comes to virtual reality, but I think that this quarter’s results show that this future is here.

Augmented reality glasses are going to be a key part of this vision too. We’re still working on the foundational technology to underpin these — and the ultimate product is still some years away. But this year we’re excited to deliver a first glimpse of what will be when we launch our first pair of smart glasses from Ray-Ban, in partnership with Luxottica.

During this pandemic, we’ve also seen Portal has proven to be a great way for people to stay connected — and especially over the holiday as families had to celebrate apart. This year, we’re focused on expanding the role of Portal and virtual reality presence into the workplace — bringing more features that improve remote presence, collaboration and productivity.

2021 has a lot of unknowns. We don’t know when vaccines will be widely available, when our teams will be back in the office, or when our lives are going to start feeling normal again. But what I do know is that we’re going to keep investing in and innovating on the big themes I discussed here in order to put more power in the hands of people and small businesses. I personally believe that technology can unlock progress and opportunity — and that the full story of the internet has not yet been written. That’s why I’m hopeful for the year ahead, and grateful that you’re all on this journey with us.

Cool Leaders

10 years at Facebook

By Fidji Sino

Today marks 10 years at Facebook.
I still vividly remember my first day – I knew deep down that this was going to be a wild adventure, yet could not have imagined quite how much.

From the early days of working in marketing, to discovering my real passion for building products, to leading amazing teams that have each taught me so much – the last 10 years have helped me grow in ways I could never have imagined.

They’ve also taught me how big a privilege it is to build experiences for billions of people – one I never take lightly. My best moments in this job have been meeting with some of the people whose lives have been changed by being able to connect with others: the baker mom who discovered Facebook Live in the very early days of the product (when I wasn’t even sure it was going to work!), built a huge following and gave me the warmest hug at one of our events; the jewelry artist who couldn’t believe how fast her business was taking off thanks to Facebook Ads; the woman who accosted me at an event to thank me for helping find her long-lost sister thanks to Facebook and had me in a puddle of tears on the spot; the non-profit leader who is building patient communities and raising money on Facebook to find a cure for a condition I now have… and so many others.

Facebook is also more than just a company and a product for me. As an immigrant, Facebook quickly became my extended family, my community. The biggest honor of the last ten years has come from being a part of the journey of so many wonderful people here, and making each other better. This community celebrated my successes and believed in me sometimes more than I believed in myself, and gave me confidence to always take on the next challenge. I still remember getting a big round of applause to encourage me and make me feel less self-conscious when I presented to Mark and the exec team my plan for Video completely lying down from my bed due to pregnancy complications (video calls from bed were less “normal” five years ago than they’ve been this year!) – it’s a simple example of how people here lift each other up in times of need, and it matters so much.

My biggest piece of advice when people ask is to surround yourself with people who see the magic in you and are willing to shine a light on it, because it makes all the difference, and while I could fill so many paragraphs with people who have done that for me here, I just want to give the biggest thanks to Mark, Sheryl, Chris and Will for the chance of a lifetime. I’m forever grateful. Here is to the next 10.

Cool Leaders

Zuck: We are extending the block we have placed on President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely

By Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.

His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world. We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect — and likely their intent — would be to provoke further violence.

Following the certification of the election results by Congress, the priority for the whole country must now be to ensure that the remaining 13 days and the days after inauguration pass peacefully and in accordance with established democratic norms.

Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies. We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech. But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.

We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.