Zuckerberg on OpenSocial, ads, and friend lists

I’m at Foursquare listening to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in the one on-the-record session. Asked why Facebook chose not to be involved, Mark replies, “Who says we didn’t choose to be a part of it? We didn’t really find out about it until right at the end there.” When? “Maybe an hour after it launched.” Will Facebook be involved? Mark said they’ll see how it works and then evaluate. If it add values to users then they would be involved, he said.

He’s also talking about his new ad system, announced yesterday. I haven’t gotten my head around the full implication of the system but it seems like a customer advocacy platform without the conflict of paying those advocates (see: Pay Per Post). This is an extension of what I wrote about in my Business Week piece on Dell: customers as the best marketers. The recommendations of peers matter more than the spam of advertisers.

Jeff Pulver asks whether we’ll be able to segment business v. personal friends. Mark says they are trying to map out all the connections and that will get more and more granular; some will be manual and some will be agorithmic. He says that “realtive soon” they’re going to release things that help people organize. Soon, that will be lists of friends you can make so you decide what to share with what groups. He also said that they are considering raising the limit on friendships.

  • It will be interesting to see if Facebook can effeciently integrate business-contact management into their framework. A la Linkedin.

    great blog by the way!

    -The Aesthetic Poetic

  • Facebook is toast. MySpace, FaceBook, etc. are just containers that Open Social can build upon. Blog about pages will become the Profile pages of the future. They’ll just be hooked into OpenID+OpenSocial instead of FaceBook.

    What happens when the WikiMedia foundation releases an open source Social Networking Container that uses Wikipedia servers? FaceBook could become irrelevant within a few months.

  • It’s going to get complicated and require more than a little fuzzy logic to pull off. I worry that facebook risks death by virus: in the form of friendspam.

  • HoundWire: I think it is a mistake to think that widgets and their portability are a driving force in socnet membership. Facebook has developed trust with its members (and it will be interesting to see if the Beacon announcement affects that) and it is much harder for the other players to easily replicate that. I participate because I know people are who they say they are, and I have control over my settings – just because I can throw a sheep at someone in a better fashion over at Orkut isn’t enough of a reason for me to convince my friends to move.

  • James

    Someone’s already written a wrapper for OpenSocial gadgets to run in Facebook: http://www.opensocket.org/