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!
I spent the first six months of the program working as a PM on Facebook Ads. My role was to identify where Facebook could uniquely win in the travel advertising market. After weeks of initial research, I developed a go-to-market plan for a new travel ad format. After receiving buy-in from leadership, I spent the rest of my rotation meeting with advertisers, running research sessions, and eventually launching our product to a set of alpha partners.
During my second rotation, I joined Facebook's AI research org as a PM on the Integrity team. This team's goal is to build AI solutions which ensure safe experiences for people across Facebook's family of apps. During this rotation I worked with a team of research scientists to ship machine learning models to proactively take down violating posts (e.g. hate speech, spam, nudity, etc.) across Facebook.
For my final rotation, I worked with Instagram's Explore team. This gave me a first hand look at how Instagram builds consumer products at scale. Reflecting on my rotations, I feel incredibly fortunate to have had such diverse experiences across the company!
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.
I'm truly grateful for the breadth of experiences I had during the RPM program as it taught me to adapt to teams with different needs. As the PM of a product, it's important to know what will make your team successful. Sometimes it's not enough to steer the ship, you have to man the sails with the crew, too!
During my first rotation at Oculus, I was the PM on the discovery feed for the Oculus Go. As the PM, you need to be prepared to do the work to fill necessary gaps, whether it's becoming a part-time designer, data scientist, or project manager. In contrast, my rotation on the Crisis Response team, which helps people during disasters, had a fully staffed team. This allowed me to manage more products and focus deeper on strategy. In both cases, I've strengthened my ability to unblock the team every step of the way.
The RPM program has given me a wide perspective on all parts of the product funnel from strategy to execution. While learning to steer the ship, I've felt fortunate to learn so much from mentors and cross-functional partners about their roles, which vary from team to team. It's allowed me to be flexible, but also helped me understand the common denominators between teams that build strong products. All of this makes me feel prepared to tackle other products in the future.
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 to the annual RPM holiday party, the RPM program creates a vibrant, international 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.
RPMs come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some are recent college grads, from a variety of majors including computer science, business, psychology and mechanical engineering. Others have spent a few years working in a range of fields such as consulting, engineering, entrepreneurship and teaching.
The program lasts 18 months, and has 3 different Product Management rotations.
We've worked on all kinds of products! Here are a few examples:
Creating a free Internet experience for Internet.org
Growing peer-to-peer payments in Messenger
Launching new ad formats optimized for emerging markets
Discovering improvements for News Feed
Driving Instagram growth and adoption
Inventing new consumer apps for Oculus VR
Facebook optimizes for impact. Our products affect billions of people. We have a responsibility to build high-caliber, daring, empathetic, and collaborative products. The RPM program provides experience, variety and ownership to impact those products. The RPM program provides an incredibly supportive community which lasts long after the program ends. RPMs and alums regularly connect outside of work, whether that be in the Bay Area, Seattle, NYC or London. The RPM community also organizes guest-speakers to give talks at Facebook and travel abroad together to research new technology trends around the world.
There really is no 'typical' day—your days will vary depending on what part of a product's lifecycle you're in. Some of the core responsibilities of RPMs include enabling your team to execute well, ensuring a great product experience and communicating your team’s impact across the company.
Mentorship is at the core of the RPM program. Each RPM has a PM manager who stays with them throughout their program experience. Your manager is responsible for making sure you're developing and growing in your career. In addition, each rotation is staffed with a PM mentor to guide you through the more tactical pieces of the day-to-day job. The program also provides other resources, such as learning and development classes, internal and external speakers and learnings from peers to help you grow into a well-rounded, versatile and innovative product thinker.
After the program, RPMs utilize their experience, knowledge, and extensive network to identify and join a product team. Facebook makes an investment in each of its RPMs to help them continue making tremendous impact at the company.
Applications will open in August 2019.