The Facebook RPM program is a community of builders who are given the unique opportunity to create products that help billions of people share and connect with each other. Our mission is to develop future product leaders by empowering, mentoring, and enabling them to build and learn across a variety of products across Facebook. Our values are:
RPMs work on high priority products that impact over 2 billion people who use Facebook to share and connect with each other. During their 3 rotations, RPMs may own creating a product vision, setting roadmaps, prioritizing goals and analyzing data to measure success. RPMs collaborate with engineers, designers and data analysts to build world-class social tools.
Learning and development is key to the program. On each project rotation, RPMs work closely with experienced PM mentors to develop the skills needed to become successful Product Managers and leaders at Facebook. RPMs also learn from each other, acting as sounding boards to pitch and test out new ideas.
RPMs form a tight, cohesive community within Facebook. They come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, creating unique opportunities for learning and collaboration. In addition to a strong professional community, RPMs also become great friends outside of work.
I was a PM in Facebook Ads and Business Platform for my first rotation. I led a quality initiative across the organization to help our businesses thrive in a safe and fair community. Quality and integrity sits right in the middle of everything we do every day so being a part of this team was an incredibly rewarding experience for me. Through leading as a PM, I learned and practiced how to create impact by thinking about quality from the very beginning of a product.
In my second rotation, I worked on Instagram Growth. I was tasked with launching an internal platform for all Instagram teams to reach out to users in the product. This means that our team spent time working to ensure that our application was compliant with recently passed European regulations (GDPR), while also growing our product to reach more people. When Instagram hit 1 Billion Monthly Active people, I remember looking around and being absolutely joyous and proud of the progress we had made.
Across all my rotations, I was proud to see that I am working with the smartest and the most hardworking people who care about doing the right thing and how much responsibility and scope you, as an RPM, get to have!
For my first rotation, I was on the Instagram Growth team where I worked on improving the 'Follow' experience. It was extremely rewarding to influence such an integral part of the Instagram app. The team's goal is to help connect people to their friends and interests. In just a few short months, we launched several features which resulted in millions of new follows each day.
During my second rotation, I got to work on the Facebook Camera team, specifically on augmented reality products and creative tools such as face filters and stickers. This was a drastically different type of product management. One of my projects involved working with the team to brainstorm brand new ideas for camera effects that were state-of-the-art. We partnered with music artists and World Cup athletes to launch these effects which was a very exciting moment for the team.
Throughout my time here, it never ceases to amaze me just how much ownership you have to push forth new ideas that end up being used by billions of people all over the world.
In my first rotation I was a PM in the Computer Vision group within the Artificial Intelligence org. I supported the team charged with advancing state of the art Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology at Facebook for a wide range of applications. OCR is technology that helps detect, recognize, and extract text from images.
My rotation centered on advancing and scaling OCR at Facebook to help keep our community safe by proactively identifying inappropriate or harmful content. In just a few months our team built and deployed a large-scale OCR service able to efficiently extract text from over a billion photos and videos uploaded to Facebook and Instagram daily and in real time. We also internationalized the service by extending recognition to many languages, including Arabic, Hindi, and more.
The highlight of my rotation was the privilege of supporting our Computer Vision team: an incredibly talented group of research scientists and developers committed to building tech that impacts lives for the better. The service we built - Rosetta - is now being used to proactively fight hate speech, violence, and other integrity problems.
Few companies tackle the breadth of problems that we do here at Facebook, and thus RPMs are often challenged in very different ways across their 3 product rotations. As the PM, these distinct teams will push you to become a subject matter expert and make impactful decisions shortly after starting on these projects. This level of responsibility so quickly can be intimidating, but it moves you just far enough out of your comfort zone enough to maximize learnings within the rotation.
In my first rotation, I worked on making Stories in Messenger more exciting and engaging for users. Now, I'm helping News publishers acquire and retain subscribers on Facebook. Each team faces its own unique challenges; Transitioning from one team's goals and needs to the other has exposed me to different operating styles and ways of thinking. Doing so two more times in the next 12 months will no doubt make me a more nimble and well-rounded PM and professional.
I feel lucky to get so much exposure in so little time. Experiencing this with the great support system of mentors, colleagues and friends intrinsic to the RPM community has been a really amazing experience.
So much of being a PM is guiding a room of people to come to a consensus on what we should build. In my last rotation on Lightweight Interfaces, my team wanted to change the tool most advertisers used to create ads, and in doing so, introduce a brand new ad format to News Feed This posed a problem: How do we achieve our goal of satisfying advertisers and still respect core News Feed mechanics?
Addressing this meant mediating multiple design iterations across two separate teams. I worked closely with design and data science from LWI and News Feed to come up with a product that met both teams' needs. Once we had a design that we liked I built support around it from various stakeholders so we could ship it to the world.
The RPM program provided me with an unparalleled opportunity to work on meaningful cross-functional projects that allowed me to hone my negotiation skills!
So much of being a PM at a big organization like Facebook is learning to manage cross-functional relationships between teams that share a single product's success. In my last rotation, I had the unique chance to work on the Video Ads team within Facebook's App Monetization group - introducing a new type of video ad optimization and partnering with the Ads Measurement organization, among others.
By coordinating with so many teams we ended having the unique advantage of testing the compound effect of multiple changes on our key performance indicators. This alignment was a tricky task, especially as timelines were shifting, but through this experience, I quickly learned how to communicate effectively with multiple product and engineering PoC's and validate impact analyses that our partner teams had done previously.
The RPM program extended the opportunity to work on such an important company initiative to me very early on in my first rotation. Admittedly, I was nervous early on, but a strong culture of mentorship allowed me to consistently grow in the role, find my footing and effectively lead our product initiative.
Circles are small mentoring groups that enable RPMs working on different problems across Facebook to collaboratively work through PM specific work issues, identify new opportunities in their role, and build relationships with fellow RPMs. Examples of topics include getting a team bought into a new direction, building an effective strategy for your product, or getting cross-functional collaborations off the ground.
From quarterly offsites across the Bay Area to the annual RPM holiday party, the RPM program creates a vibrant community of current and former RPMs.
RPMs embark on a research trip with the goals of developing user empathy, researching international technology trends, and meeting with business partners. In prior trips, RPMs have researched visual sharing, the future of video, and economic empowerment enabled through the Internet.
Our next application will open in Spring 2019, please follow our Facebook page for updates!