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 on the Civic Engagement team for my second rotation. I worked with our media partners and infrastructure teams to ensure we had capacity as the world watched presidential debates on Facebook Live. I also worked on notifications and News Feed units to offer voter registration and early voting reminders. On election day, we had voting notifications and offered information on polling places and what to bring. After the election, we helped people find their newly elected officials.
In terms of impact, we enabled new connections between people and their elected representatives, and on election night, had millions see election results realtime. We estimate 2 million people registered to vote as a result of seeing reminders on Facebook.
I was a PM on Instagram comments during my first rotation. I shipped new comment tools such as the ability to like comments or disable comments altogether. These tools deter bullying and harassment - People should feel comfortable sharing their everyday moments on Instagram. In less than four months, we made an idea into a reality for over 600 million people.
Launch day was an extremely rewarding moment. The minute we shipped the product, news articles started coming out, feeds were talking about the topic, and I saw my friends using the new tools immediately. This launch positioned Instagram as a leader in caring about the safety of its community. It's an amazing feeling to work on something that is impactful and visible both internally at Instagram and to the world.
In my first rotation, we launched a new surface to help millions of small and medium-sized business (SMB) advertisers around the world better manage advertising campaigns. We want our ads management products easy to use and effective especially for SMBs - This includes hair salons, and doctors’ offices.
Before we started building, we met with SMBs across the U.S. to get usability feedback. In the end, we launched a new management surface that SMBs now use daily to optimize their campaigns.
When asked about my favorite RPM moment, I'd say it was when the engineer let me hit the button that launched the product and stayed up late to monitor usage. I quickly realized the incredible scale and impact our work has.
I could not be happier with the mentorship in the RPM program. What I really love in particular is the dynamic between your RPM manager, who supports your growth over the course of the 18-month program, and Operating Product Manager (OPM), your day-to-day mentor who you work closely with on each project.
The RPM manager serves as the connecting tissue between all three of your rotations. My manager is a huge part of how I think about my longer term career development. She helps me see across the lessons I learned in my first rotation, how to apply them in my current rotation, and areas for growth next half. At the same time, I have a different person – my OPM – who is on the ground and understands my current problem space very well. Having both global and nuanced points of view have helped me become a better product manager.
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!
I spearheaded a new program called RPM Tiny Lunches - Every couple of weeks, I'd arrange lunch with 3 RPMs and an executive. We met with VPs of Product across Facebook, the CEO of Instagram, and Facebook's head of marketing.
These lunches gave me perspective on how to think about building great products. As RPMs, we think tactically about execution. For executives who manage organizations, they think strategically to set long-term product visions. We spoke to Javi (VP of Growth) about entering new markets, and he explained that you don't just growth hack your way into markets like India. Instead, you view growth through the lens of socioeconomic factors and governments, and how that impacts our ability to help more people get on Facebook. That high-level view of the world – of thinking about frameworks instead of features – was very insightful.
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.
Applications for the Class of 2019 will open in August 2018. Follow us on our Facebook page to stay up to date.