- Facebook threw a glitzy party for hundreds of employees at a luxury hotel on Tuesday night.
- The entertainment on offer included casino tables, karaoke, free massages, an open bar, and a magician.
- It was to celebrate the launch of Facebook’s redesign, one of the social network’s biggest facelifts ever.
- And it comes as Facebook tries to move past two years of constant scandals.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Facebook unveiled its biggest facelift in years — and employees of the social network celebrated by letting their hair down at a fancy party at a luxury Bay Area hotel.
On Tuesday evening, hundreds of Facebook employees descended on the Hotel Nia in Menlo Park, California, a stone’s throw from the company’s sprawling headquarters, where they were treated to a private party that included casino tables, massages, and a magician, Business Insider has learned.
The exclusive event was held on the first night of Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference, and celebrated CEO Mark Zuckerberg announcement of a sweeping redesign of the core Facebook app that ditches its iconic blue bar and puts groups and communities front-and-centre (known internally as "FB5").
The changes to Facebook’s aesthetic come as the company tries to move past two years of constant scandals, from Cambridge Analytica’s misappropriation of tens of millions of users’ data to the social network’s role in spreading hate speech that fueled genocide in Myanmar.
On stage at the conference, Zuckerberg presented an image of solemness and contrition to emphasize how seriously Facebook is taking the criticisms about the company. After hours however, the glitzy party revealed a celebratory atmosphere typical of Silicon Valley product launches.
InstagramThe details of Tuesday’s party offer a window into how Facebook employees are letting off steam at a pivotal moment in the company’s history — and how Facebook uses glitzy events to internally reinforce changes in direction for the company.
There was branding everywhere emphasising Facebook’s new strategy: The message "Facebook equals Communities since 2019" appeared everywhere from welcome signs to cakes to casino chips. Employees were given mementos in the form of custom tracksuits — again branded with that slogan.
Inside, the entertainment on offer included complimentary massages, old-school casino table where employees were free to gamble (using tokens, not real money), an open bar, karaoke, magic tricks, and and huge platters of sushi.
Facebook was being tight-lipped about the party.
When asked by Business Insider about the shindig, a Facebook spokesperson said "I don’t have anything and no one on the Comms team I’ve checked with knows anything either."
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