Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Facebook Sharing Is Driven by Apps and Mobile, but Today’s New Products Are Neither

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today said repeatedly that apps built on the Facebook platform by third parties and mobile are the two leading drivers of the explosive growth of sharing on Facebook.

In fact, rather than marking its growth in active users — today Facebook has 750 million of them — the company is looking at the exponential growth of its users’ sharing. In the history of Facebook, each user has shared, on average, twice as many items as they did a year ago. People like Facebook investor Yuri Milner have called this “Zuckerberg’s law.”

But instead of apps and mobile — in fact, without any support for apps and mobile — Facebook today launched two products that encourage sharing between small groups and individual people.

It’s a little odd — and so I think worth calling out — that the new group chat design and Skype-powered video chat are Web-only. They’re also available only on Facebook’s own Web site and through its core interface, with no support for Facebook platform app developers.

Zuckerberg said today that half of Facebook users actively use the site’s Groups tool, and that small groups are probably the third-leading driver of growth in sharing, after apps and mobile.

But as for today’s launches, “this is mostly a Web experience for now,” he said, adding that Facebook builds its product iteratively and expansions should be expected.

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald