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Facebook: the New Publisher

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Disintermediation will be complete when Facebook becomes “a massive publisher.” That’s where CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggests his company is headed in an interview published in the Wall Street Journal today (see it here; official version here).

Facebook’s newsfeed, a personalized account of recent activity across your network which greets you when you sign on, first caused a ruckus, but now is surely one of the site’s most-used features. Zuckerberg displays his characteristic modesty when asked about the experience: “That’s just something that goes along with being revolutionary.”

“In the next iterations, you’re going to see real stories being produced,” Zuckerberg says. “‘These people went to this party and they did this the next day and then here’s the discussion that was taking place off of this article in The Wall Street Journal. And these two people went to this party and they broke up the next day.'”

Whatever, you can start weaving together real events into stories. As these start to approach being stories, we turn into a massive publisher. Twenty to 30 snippets of information or stories a day, that’s like 300 million stories a day. It gets to a point where we are publishing more in a day than most other publications have in the history of their whole existence.”

So watch out, gossip rags — you’re Mark Zuckerberg’s next target.

14 Responses to “Facebook: the New Publisher”

  1. Oh christ.

    I’m so sick and tired of people who aren’t even IN school making grandiose statements about facebook’s future…

    College students (and to a much lesser extent high school) are and will continue to be its bread and butter – and until you can turn back time I don’t think any journalists should be making comments about how well received the news feed and all the other crappy ‘innovations’ have been.

  2. Mosites

    His arrogance is astounding. I think they’ll quickly find that conversations are best left on a personal level, rather than aggregated by a system and force fed to users. Part of the solution here is of course to build out Facebook as a communications platform, but that is outside the scope of their business and I think doing so would cause them to lose focus on their most effective products.

    Otherwise, I agree with Winstonian’s acknowledgment of the third person as an indication of how they see their role in the community.

  3. Winstonian

    I wonder what exactly constitutes a ‘use’ of the feed feature. The feeds appear on every users homepage as soon as they log in. So whether or not a user likes or wants the feeds, they are still stuck with seeing them (which may mean ‘using’ them as well) if they don’t know how to turn them off.

    I think the critical flaw to this feature is that Facebook is using software to automatically publish and stream news that IT deems worthy and in a format of ITS chosing. In this scenario, the user is just a source and all the fun stuff like crafting the medium, is left to Facebook and software.

    One example of this disconnect is how Facebook feeds and updates all refer to people in the third person.