Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg fielded several questions in a live Q&A on Thursday. Users wondered whether he was concerned about Facebook being seen as less "cool" over time, and asked him how accurate “The Social Network” was.
Zuckerberg said that Facebook’s goal was to become as ubiquitous as water and electricity, rather than something that was “cool” with teens and other users. In the future, he said that would require a transition to video as it becomes easier for people to capture in their everyday lives.
“Five years ago, Facebook primarily consisted of text,” Zuckerberg said. It now contains mostly photos, but “if you fast forward five years, it’s probably going to be mostly video.”
Zuckerberg fielded criticism of the company’s roll out of Facebook Messenger, where users were “forced” to download the app to keep chatting on Android and iPhone. While the company “didn’t handle that as smoothly as we could have,” Zuckerberg said that a separate Messenger app was a better experience, citing speed and focus as allowing users to respond faster to messages.
“Messaging is one of the things that people do more than social networking,” he said. "Even though it was a short-term, painful thing ... we knew that we could never deliver a quality experience inside as a tab on the main app.”
The company’s goal was to eventually turn News Feed into a personalized newspaper for the future, since newspapers and other forms of media “tend to not be personalized.” Facebook wanted to do that by incorporating world news as well as individually important stories, like the birth of a friend’s child, he said.
“In every decision we make, we optimize for…[users] over businesses,” Zuckerberg said. Some businesses and organizations saw less users on their free Facebook “fan pages” simply because they were competing with new users and more sharing on the site, he said. “Focus on trying to publish really good content that's going to be compelling to your customers.”
Zuckerberg was also asked about how accurate the Academy Award–winning film “The Social Network” was. He called watching it an "interesting experience," and said that while filmmakers went to great lengths to get specific details correct, like the layout of the early Facebook offices, they invented too much of the story regarding the site's creation.
“They just kind of made up a bunch of stuff that I just found kind of hurtful,” Zuckerberg said. “I take our mission very seriously, I’m here not just to build a company, but to help the world.”
Zuckerberg said he took the whole company out to see it on opening day, and a sense of humor helped deal with much of what he found untrue, including a scene where his favorite drink was an appletini.
“We had never heard of ‘appletinis,’ before,” Zuckerberg said. “There was this joke going around where for a while everyone in the office was drinking appletinis to kind of make fun of me.”