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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Let's talk about how we communicate, says Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, told CNET blogger Caroline McCarthy at the SXSW conference in Texas that he was a little tired of the way the press focused on the sensational stuff - how Business Week journalist Sarah Lacy had the audience turn on her over the questions she asked, the Beacon fiasco and the US$15bn valuation of the company. (Here's the link for video of Zuckerberg/Lacy keynote interview).

He'd prefer to talk about "the way in which we help people interact and communicate, both on a subtle level of helping people make connections and increase the number of people that they can keep up relationships with, and increase their trust...(and) the sum of all those connections, and all that communication that's being enabled through the service."

Well, good luck with that, Mark.

Meantime, he did manage to tell CNET more about:

  • Facebook's plans to reduce app spam (by curtailing the activities of annoying applications that demand you bombard all your Facebook Friends with requests and invitations).

  • Plans to introduce a PayPal-like payment system for Facebook apps and users.

  • Having plenty of hardware lined up to support continuing growth: "We have multiple data centers. We have a couple on the West Coast. We have somewhat of a cluster on the East Coast too," he said. "We basically have this model where we can just put servers anywhere."

  • Why it hasn't jumped into Google's OpenSocial developer initiative yet having earlier raised questions about its security: "We're still kind of in somewhat of the same place, where it hasn't launched yet. So we're still kind of waiting to see how it plays out. I have a lot of confidence in those guys."

  • And on saving the world, a la Bill Gates' 'creative capitalism': "I think at this point, because we're not incredibly profitable, we're not at that stage of the company - hopefully we get there -that's not really something that we can do a lot of," he said in an interview on Monday. "But I'd like to think that just what the company is trying to do in general, just helping people communicate, is actually making the world better."