An Insight into the Corporate Culture at Facebook

Many would find it unsurprising that the corporate culture at Facebook, is strong, full of benefits and transparent. With billions of daily users, the app’s grown to be an incubator of potential for those lucky enough to work there.

Many pegging the great corporate culture as the reason Facebook has risen as high and fast as it has.

There are greats within the realm of corporate culture. Unsurprisingly, many of them are in the tech business. Climbing out from the title of startup and moving onto a more established one. From Google and Twitter, to the non-tech businesses like Zappos and Chevron. These companies excel in treatment of their staff, growth opportunities, freedom, responsibility, company atmosphere, stock options, general fun or just having good benefits.

Adding to this list, is Facebook. The global powerhouse, with over a billion users worldwide.

Founded in 2003 as Face Mash, within the dorms of Harvard University, the basis of the company was created. After changing the name and having success among US colleges, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO dropped out of college to pursue ‘Facebook’, in 2004.

Once relocating and renting a small space in Palo Alto, California, the Facebook brand started to grow, as did the culture. Being known as an office for fun, the Facebook culture was developing. After getting funding from Peter Thiel (ex-PayPal executive) and completing a strategic hire of Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook was getting serious, with a new and determined strategic direction.

Deciding to focus on the product and its transparency was integral to the success. As they continued to grow, hire and subsequently relocate to bigger offices, the product became more and more important.

“People don’t care about what you a say, they care about what you build”
– Mark Zuckerberg –

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So that’s the brief history, during their early years. Now let’s look at what it takes to build Facebook’s unique corporate culture.



Company values

The corporate culture at Facebook is firmly held up by the values that have echoed throughout the company since its inception. The values are those that help with the direction of every aspect in the company. From hiring, promoting, social activities and basically any other area which I haven’t mentioned. Because with the companies values, come its direction. Helping to make decisions and above else, move the company forward while adhering to its overall mission.

Be bold

Building great things means taking risks. We have a saying: “The riskiest thing is to take no risks.” In a world that’s changing so quickly, you’re guaranteed to fail if you don’t take any risks. We encourage everyone to make bold decisions, even if that means being wrong some of the time.

Focus on impact

To have the biggest impact, we need to focus on solving the most important problems. It sounds simple, but most companies do this poorly and waste a lot of time. We expect everyone at Facebook to be good at finding the biggest problems to work on.

Move fast

Moving fast enables us to build more things and learn faster. We’re less afraid of making mistakes than we are of losing opportunities by moving too slowly. We are a culture of builders, the power is in your hands.

Be open

We believe that a more open world is a better world. The same goes for our company. Informed people make better decisions and have a greater impact, which is why we work hard to make sure everyone at Facebook has access to as much information about the company as possible.

Build social value

Facebook was created to make the world more open and connected, not just to build a company. We expect everyone at Facebook to focus every day on how to build real value for the world in everything they do.

Mission Statement

To make the world more open and connected

Strategic hiring

The hiring process is easily reflective of the values and greatly adds corporate culture at Facebook. Every new hire has to meet the criteria set through the company values. Ensuring that each new employee fully understands the goals and direction of the business. COO Sheryl Sandberg makes it clear that much of the culture that Facebook has, comes from the quality of employees that have been hired.

Competitive atmosphere

As more great companies do, Facebook attracts the best. With this, you could imagine the competitiveness among employees. Still, it’s believed that through such companies attract the best and brightest. Knowing this, it’s easy to believe how Facebook grew into the company it has. As some of the worlds brightest minds are working shoulder-to-shoulder and pushing each other for excellence.

Now, the trick to this, is to keep the atmosphere competitive, while still foster growth, enjoyment and learning. This is where the corporate culture at Facebook has excelled. Facebook doesn’t merely employ the best and let them fight to the death for promotions or other benefits. Facebook ensure the competitiveness is positive, by developing their staff.

“Smart people generally want to work with other smart people on hard problems”
– Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO and Facebook board member –

Benefits and perks

Known for its employee friendly working environment, the benefits and perks of working at one of the biggest companies in the world are unrivaled by most. Adding to the corporate culture at Facebook, the benefits of being a ‘booker are awesome and varied.

From their new parent benefits, vacation benefits, eating and food benefits, health insurance, $250 of free Facebook ad spend or even the little things like a barber, bank, drycleaners and so on.

Facebook really gives their staff the best end of the stick.


Image: Facebook's new headquarters where open-plan is king and 'frictionless working' is the aim

Image: Facebook’s new headquarters where open-plan is king and ‘frictionless working’ is the aim

Office layout

The corporate culture at Facebook is empowering and inspiring to all who stroll through the doors. Aiming to have a ‘frictionless’ work space, Facebook has everyone working together on big, white, communal desks.

Even Zuckerberg doesn’t have an office. Instead, opting to work alongside the other employees in the ‘bull-pen’ like workspace. Potentially having an intern work alongside the CEO is incredibly daunting, yet motivating. This surely adds to the corporate culture at Facebook, as equality is not only preached, but implemented.

In Summary

Facebook take their corporate culture very seriously. As it’s helped to guide their decision making, through all facets of the organisation. Through their mission and values, Facebook and their employees believe they’re best equipped to deal with whatever may come their way.

From buying other companies and competitors like Instagram, Oracle and WhatsApp, they know that to stay ahead of the curve, they must continue to invest in their corporate culture. Much of this means to invest in their employees and make hires that work with the company and its direction.

As Facebook attracts the best and brightest, it’s not hard to believe how the once small company got to where it is now.

Glenn Symmons

Glenn Symmons