Facebook won’t try to offer music, movie or book services – but CEO Mark Zuckerberg has grand pronouncements for those sectors nevertheless.
“Is Facebook going to do those? No way,” he said on stage during an awkward one-on-one with Publicis CEO Maurice Levy at the eG8 forum in Paris on Wednesday. “We don’t have the DNA to be a music company or a movie company.
“But I hope we can help those companies become more social. We’re going to see a lot of the transformation in these industries over the next three, five years that we have with gaming so far.”
Whilst almost religiously celebrating internet users’ ability to share more and more and more with each other online, Zuckerberg lauded Zynga and Playfish for “baking the principles of social design” in to games.
The corollary of this for music, movies, books and news, he said: “In each of these industries – the media ones are going to be big ones… in the music industry, it’s going to be people who understand music and people; in the movie industry, it’s going to be people who understand movies and people.
“The gaming industry has been completely transformed. Social gaming has taken off from scratch to be, the biggest companies in the gaming industry are now social games companies.
“People listen to music with friends, you read news and discuss it with friends. These industries can be rebuilt from the ground up with social. The opportunities when you make these companies social are a lot bigger than they are (in their current form).”
And then Zuckerberg tried and failed to dig himself out of a hole. His recent pronouncements about letting under-13s use Facebook have provoked concerned tabloid headlines about paedophiles and such like…
“That’s not what I said,” Zuckerberg said. “The current regulations make it difficult for people aged under 13 to use Facebook. In the U.S., a parent has to either fax in a signature or have a credit card and verify they want their child to sign up.
“So we just haven’t gone there yet. We haven’t tried to figure our how to make a service that’s accessible to people under 13.
“We’re doing a lot of things right now … but we’re not trying to work on the ability for people under 13 to sign up.
“In the future, it makes sense to explore that. We would need to try to figure out a lot of ways to make sure they are safe. That’s extremely important. That’s not on the top of the list for things for us to figure out right now.”
In other words, Zuckerberg would like under-13s to join Facebook, when a way can be found. Maybe he will get an opportunity to discuss the options when he meets world leaders at Thursday’s G8 summit.