<< by on December 6th, 2010
Last night, Lesley Stahl interviewed Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook. To me, it seemed that Stahl took more interest in the fact that Zuckerberg likes the Yankees, tennis and has been dating the same girl since before he created Facebook than the actual reveal of the new profile design. The interview covered The Social Network movie, Facebook’s culture and meager beginnings, the lawsuits and where the company is headed. However, the interview danced around the main issues of interest to those in the online advertising world like me. Those topics include the new profile, their messaging service, Facebook’s privacy disasters and information for advertisers. Basically, the interview was a vague roundup of Facebook and Zuckerberg’s history without diving into any real content.
The teaser associated with Zuckerberg’s interview referenced the reveal of the new profile design, released today. The new design will slowly roll out to users, but, curious, I upgraded early to the new profile. You can do so here: http://www.facebook.com/about/profile/. A very brief review of the new profile was covered, but other than a few screen shots, Stahl quickly moved the interview onto other topics.
Zuckerberg mentioned in the interview that the new layout allows users to share more information more easily. The new profile also incorporates the users’ tagged photos at the top of their profile. Something else I noticed right away with the new profile is that the status update box where you’d normally enter your status message is missing. You now have to click and choose if you’re sharing a status update, a link, photo or video for a text box to appear. Immediately this makes me wonder, is Facebook trying to discourage users from sharing content? But yet they want us to share more info about ourselves?
Facebook vs. Google and owning the Internet
While on the topic of the messaging service Facebook introduced that “isn’t email” but could possibly replace it, the Facebook – Google competition came up. Was Facebook’s messaging service directed at killing off email services like Gmail? Stahl mentioned that about 200 people from Google now work at Facebook. Kara Swisher of All Things Digital spoke to Stahl saying the battle between Facebook and Google is about search and how people find information.
Finding info on Google was compared to finding recommendations from friends via Facebook search. Zuckerberg talked about companies and services being remade to be social. People spent more time on Facebook than Google this past year, isn’t that the nature of the websites? Google’s being to find your information and move along to your destination and Facebook’s purpose to reconnect and chat with friends? One naturally takes more time than the other.
When Stahl asked if Zuckerberg’s goal for Facebook is to “own the internet” he said that when it comes to services like photos, groups, music, or TV he thinks that most of the time people want to do those things with their friends rather than on their own. Sooo, was that a yes, Zuck? (Also, note the reference to TV – cough, Google TV?!)
The interview did review some information about how more than 200 million Facebook users are accessing the site from their mobile devices. It also briefly touched on Facebook’s privacy shenanigans. Swisher inferred that although it’s against Facebook’s policies to directly sell users’ information, Facebook applications need to leak user data to exist. It just scratched the surface of this topic that would have actually interested viewers. Honestly, I just want to see another interview of Zuckerberg, but this time led by Swisher (see Zuckerberg’s Nixon moment here).
To answer your immediate questions about the new profile design, check out the help page about the topic: http://www.facebook.com/help/?topic=new_profile. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @ReneeRevetta if you have any other questions or topics to chat about.