Posts Tagged ‘Mark Zuckerberg’

Mark Zuckerberg Suggests Kids Under 13 Should Be Allowed On Facebook

May 21st, 2011

Image via CrunchBase

According to a Consumer Reports study, over 7.5 million of Facebook’s users are under 13, a problem Senator Jay Rockefeller recently called “indefensible.” But CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that kids should be allowed on Facebook at a very young age.

In an interview with John Doerr, first reported by Fortune, Zuckerberg said that the future of education will be enabled by technology, including social networks like Facebook. Currently, Facebook does not allow children under 13 to join, which Zuckerberg says is due to the restrictions regarding such members. But according to Fortune, Zuckerberg says he hopes all that will change.

“That will be a fight we take on at some point,” he said. “My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age.”

Facebook has faced ongoing scrutiny over privacy concerns. In a recent study of 65 participants, all 65 found that they were sharing information through Facebook that they had believed private. Another report, by Symantec, reported that millions of users’ profile information had been leaked through over 100,000 third-party apps. Facebook currently allows users to share home addresses and cellphone numbers with third-party apps.

Alongside privacy problems, Facebook also presents the potential for a variety of other cyber-dangers. Consumer Reports found that over 5 million households had had serious issues on the site, including identity theft, scams, computer viruses, and cyberbullying.

Facebook is also currently being sued for failing to get parental permission before using minors’ personal information in its social ads.

Despite all of this, Zuckerberg promises that if children were allowed on the site, that proper security measures would be taken.

“Because of the restrictions we haven’t even begun this learning process,” Zuckerberg said. “If they’re lifted then we’d start to learn what works. We’d take a lot of precautions to make sure that they [younger kids] are safe.”

source :-

  • Facebook’s Zuckerberg wants to let kids under 13 onto site (
  • Minor controversy: Zuckerberg wants young kids on Facebook (
  • Mark Zuckerberg Wants Kids Under 13 To Use Facebook (
  • Zuckerberg: Kids under 13 should be on Facebook (
  • Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook minimum age limit should be removed (
  • Zuckerberg Wants Kids Under 13 on Facebook [Blockquote] (
  • Kids Under 13 Should Use Facebook, Zuckerberg Says (
  • Indianapolis Attorney Named Mark Zuckerberg Cannot Join Facebook (
  • Facebook reportedly disables account of attorney Mark S. Zuckerberg (
  • Senator Rockefeller confronts Facebook over Consumer Reports findings (

Mark Zuckerberg Isn’t the Role Model, Reid Hoffman Is.

May 19th, 2011

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Post from techcrunch written by Sarah Lacy

Forty-plus weeks traveling the emerging world has taught me many things. Chief among them is that most entrepreneurs outside Silicon Valley learn the wrong lessons looking in.

A lot of that is the fault of publications like TechCrunch: We get excited about new things. If it’s exploding like Groupon, all the better. But we even go nuts over things like Foursquare or Quora that have pretty muted user-bases. That’s what being evangelists and early adopters is all about. We tend not to write about all the apps that launch and go nowhere, with good reason: If we’re doing our job well, we probably thought they sucked to begin with.

But the bigger disservice we do is not writing enough about the boring companies who work every day to build something that becomes huge, giving the impression that starting a business is easy in the Valley. That somehow people wake up with an idea, and roll out of bed onto a pile of venture capital, press and adoration. A lot of times the companies we should be writing about more than we do are admittedly boring infrastructure or enterprise software names. But there’s a category of consumer names that should be sexy, but for whatever reason don’t get the hype.

I’ve always thought of Yelp in this category. Local plays like Foursquare and Groupon have always gotten more attention. Another one is Pandora. Spotify has gotten far more attention, despite Pandora pulling off what almost no other music startup has– surviving the full-barrel onslaught of the record labels. But the king of them all for the Web 2.0 crowd is LinkedIn.

You could understand if LinkedIn was just paling next to Facebook. I mean, who doesn’t? Facebook is one of those once-a-decade phenomenons. But LinkedIn started out as the less-sexy social network next to Friendster. And then it graduated to the also-ran next to MySpace. It has officially trounced both now that its IPO has priced at $45 a share, or $4 billion-plus valuation– the highest valuation for an Internet company debut since Google.

More than ten years ago, Reid Hoffman– LinkedIn’s founder– was one of the first people to believe in the comeback of the consumer Internet, investing in a host of startups, but putting the bulk of his money, personal brand, time and firepower behind LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is one of the only social networks that survived from the first social media frenzy. That’s quite an accomplishment when you think about it. Hoffman wasn’t exactly up against entrepreneurial slouches. All the big Valley venture capital guns were behind Friendster. Mark centerfold-of-Vanity-Fair-this-month Pincus was behind Tribe. And Sean You-Know-What’s-Cool? Parker was behind Plaxo.

One of the reasons LinkedIn outlasted that early generation of social networks was that it was boring and practical. In the early days of social networking, the only reason anyone could think to use these sites was for dating. But Hoffman knew that would always be a customer acquisition headache: Either a dating site solves your problem and you stop using it, or it doesn’t and you stop using it. LinkedIn on the other hand would be this thing in the background you would need your entire career.

You could argue the flaw with LinkedIn was the rational strategy that saved it worked too well. For many people, it became an indispensable tool for certain moments of professional panic, but not something you used daily or even monthly. I’ve always compared it to a AAA card, a comparison that visibly annoys Hoffman and usually results in suggestions of other ways I should be using it. But back in 2007, even he admitted the site’s biggest flaw was they weren’t giving people enough to do.

When the Web 2.0 craze took off in 2006 or so, Hoffman’s star soared, but shockingly it wasn’t really because of LinkedIn. It was his angel portfolio that got the bulk of media attention. That includes out-performers like Facebook, but also stars that shined bright and burned out like Digg and Six Apart. Ever the gracious interviewee, Hoffman would answer questions about the sexier companies, but always be sure to work in a LinkedIn plug. A favorite was regularly betting me an expensive dinner at the restaurant of my choice if LinkedIn couldn’t help me do a certain aspect of my job as a reporter better.

Hoffman wasn’t in his early twenties or a college dropout, and he’d be the first to admit he wasn’t a natural CEO. He’s said in previous interviews that he has a hard time firing people quickly enough– a skill that Mark Zuckerberg has excelled at. He’s left the CEO chair several times, only to come back when other candidates haven’t worked out. But even though he could easily throw out that old cop-out of “I’m just the guy who starts stuff; I’m not the CEO type” and wash his hands of the company, Hoffman cared about LinkedIn too much to ever be very far even when insanely sexier jobs were his for the taking. Even now in his role at Greylock, he spends the bulk of his time working on LinkedIn.

And yet, given all this, it’s LinkedIn that is the first social network to go public, the first multi-billion Web 2.0 IPO. It’s more than double the exit of sexy YouTube. And, in a rare case of startup justice, his day-in, day-out work building the social network no one ever wanted to get excited about has paid him handsomely: Netting him a boost of nearly $1 billion to his net worth. Few entrepreneurs who’ve spent a decade building a company get that kind of personal return, because few personally invest so much of their own cash along the journey.

Hoffman can’t comment on any of this of course. I haven’t talked to him in weeks. These are all my observations after ten years of interviewing him about LinkedIn, watching him shake his head at the unfairness of the hype cycle and keep slogging away at building LinkedIn regardless. Hoffman should be the role model for entrepreneurs star-struck by the seeming glamour and ease of Silicon Valley’s consumer Internet world. He’s the living incarnation of the reality of the Valley: It may be easier than ever to start a product, but building a company is just as hard as its ever been.

As for the brain-dead commentators wondering if LinkedIn’s IPO represents a bubble, somewhere Hoffman has to be laughing and shaking his head again. What part of spending a decade of building a business with more than 100 million users that no one hyped, that represents one of the few large-scale working examples of a freemium business model screams “BUBBLE” to you people? These are the same people that said Google was wildly overvalued when it priced at under $100 a share.

As most people with common sense have argued, we’re not in an Internet bubble now, because the soaring valuations are mostly contained within the frothy insider ecosystem. Secondary markets are starting to change that, but so far, there are exactly two $1 billion + Web 2.0 exits that I can count: YouTube and LinkedIn. Maybe you count a few more. It depends on your definition of “Web 2.0.” I count it as the wave of consumer Web social media companies started with the Friendster explosion. Some could count Skype (twice,) but I’d argue Skype is more of a sandwich generation company. But even if your definition is more generous, I bet you can count them on one hand. Five or fewer isn’t a bubble.

There’s exactly one aspect of Silicon Valley right now that I will concede does feel like 1999: It’s easy to start a company. Stupidly easy. And entrepreneurs like Hoffman are the antithesis of that archetype not a symptom of it.


  • Attn Entrepreneurs: Mark Zuckerberg Isn’t the Role Model. Reid Hoffman Is. (
  • LinkedIn boss poised for $600m payout from sale of shares (
  • LinkedIn Founder Could Net $855 Million in Thursday’s IPO (
  • You: LinkedIn set for $350 million IPO – CNN (
  • LinkedIn Raises $352.8 Million in Initial Public Offering (
  • Today, LinkedIn’s IPO is tipped to set off at a staggering $4.3 billion! (
  • LinkedIn Hikes IPO Price Range (
  • “LinkedIn on Tuesday raised the expected price range of its IPO by 30 percent to $42 to $45 per share from $32 to $35.” and related posts (
  • LinkedIn IPO Prices Value Company at Over $4 Billion (
  • Infographic: A Look At LinkedIn On Its 8th Birthday (
  • LinkedIn’s IPO: A proxy for an eventual Facebook IPO (
  • LinkedIn IPO likely a success, but risks real (

Facebook Launches ‘Send’ Button For More Selective Sharing, Announces 50 Million ‘Groups’

April 28th, 2011

Facebook’s increasingly ubiquitous ‘Like’ button is getting a new friend: the Send button. Click on a webpage that has the Send button integrated, and you’ll be prompted to share it with any of your Facebook Groups, your Facebook friends, or any standard email address. In other words, where the Like button is designed to let you quickly share content with all of your Facebook friends, the Send button is for sharing with a subset of them.

Site designers are groaning right now (they have yet another sharing widget to integrate), but it’s a logical step for Facebook — there are certainly times when you want to share links with a handful of friends instead of your News Feed, and this gives you one less reason to fire up your non-Facebook email account. 50 sites are launching with the feature.

In addition to the new Send button, Facebook is adding a handful of features to its existing Groups product, which was overhauled last October. First is the introduction of photo albums for Groups. Before now it’s been possible to upload a single photo to a group, and now you’ll be able to upload a whole set. These photo albums are unusual because they’re walled within the Group — only other group members will be able to see them (even tagged photos aren’t visible to people on the outside).

The second addition is integration with Facebook Questions, which re-launched last month. Now you can pose a question that’s contained within the group.

Finally, and most important, is a new setting that will require Group administrators to approve any new members who have been invited to join the group. Up until now anyone within a Facebook Group was able to invite any of their friends (the idea was that you’d be violating the ‘social contract’ if you started inviting people who didn’t belong). But now Facebook recognizes that there are some groups that should be more private, so you can require admin approval.

Provided it gets broad distribution (which seems a given), the Send button will probably lead to a boost in Groups usage. It’s always been easy to share links within Groups, but this lowers the bar even further because you don’t have to leave the page you’re reading — you can imagine people using the button to share book reviews with their book club, close friends sharing new ideas for travel destinations, and so on.

And while ‘Send’ may not sound especially exciting given how long other sharing widgets have been around, this is yet another step in Facebook’s mission to reinvent email with their own “modern messaging system“, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg called it. One by one, they’re integrating easy ways to complete tasks that have traditionally been done over email. Today’s launch — sending links to friends — is obviously a huge one, and you can be sure they have others in the works. One other email-replacing feature I’ve heard about (though I’m not sure they’re still working on it): a way to send a structured poll to a subset of your friends.

Facebook says that there are now 50 million Facebook groups, and while not all of these are active, it says that the majority of them are.

Source :-

  • Facebook Launches ‘Send’ Button For More Selective Sharing, Announces 50 Million ‘Groups’ (
  • Add Facebook Send Button to Share Content (
  • Facebook Announces Send Button, Like Button Companion (
  • Facebook Groups Goes Gangbusters, Gets Privacy Tweaks (
  • How to add the Facebook Send button to your website or blog – or even your Facebook Page (
  • Facebook Releases Updates to Groups, New “Send” Button Social Plugin for Private Sharing From Off-Site (
  • Facebook announces new group sharing service with ‘Send’ button (
  • Extensions Bring Facebook’s New “Send” Button to Google Reader, WordPress & More (
  • Facebook Announces ‘Send’ Button: A ‘Like’ With Context (
  • Can Facebook Groups Support Its Deals? (
  • Facebook Makes Groups More Useful With Optional Security (
  • Facebook Updates Groups: What’s New (

Rumor: Facebook Partners with Baidu for China Site

April 12th, 2011
Image representing Baidu as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Facebook is currently ‘studying and learning’ about China

Popular social networking site Facebook was buzzing the web yesterday for a rumour about entering a partnership deal with Chinese search engine – Baidu. Citing a person familiar with the matter, a Chinese website reported that Facebook has signed a co-operation agreement with Baidu to work together in future for creating a new social networking website.

That new website would be a Facebook’s formal entry in China. Facebook spokesperson Debbie Frost, in response to an AFP inquiry, said “We are currently studying and learning about China, as part of evaluating any possible approaches that could benefit our users, developers and advertisers.”

Just to refresh the history, China has blocked several social networking sites which also includes Facebook. Obviously, the social network doesn’t want to miss out on one of the largest Internet using region. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was reported of having several meetings with Baidu’s CEO Robin Li and that’s when the agreements were rumoured to have been signed.

Despite Facebook’s clarification of no partnership at the moment, the deal, if it would have taken place, seems really beneficial for both. Baidu is China’s largest search engine and Facebook is top social network. Together, they can work on a harmonious strategy to tap the potential business opportunity in China.

The point to be noted here is that Facebook isn’t denying anything about the possible deal but giving a justification that it is currently studying and learning about China to benefit users, developers and advertisers. China already has a substitute or replacement services of popular social networks like Twitter – Sina. We won’t be surprised if we see a China specific social network developed by Facebook and powered by Baidu.

Source :

  • Rumor: Facebook entering China with help from Baidu (
  • Rumored Facebook-Baidu partnership not a done deal (
  • Facebook Strikes China Deal With Baidu (BIDU) (
  • Facebook Reaches Deal For China Site With Baidu, Sohu Reports (
  • Facebook, Baidu Said To Enter Social Networking Deal (
  • Facebook ‘signs’ independent social network deal with Baidu (
  • Facebook Gains Access To China (
  • Counter rumor: Facebook has not signed a deal in China (
  • Facebook and Baidu Reported in Social Networking Deal (
  • Facebook teams with Baidu for new social network in China (

Facebook Simplifies Privacy Policy

March 2nd, 2011

Keeps users in the loop with the privacy policy draft

Facebook has received much bad press in the past, and that prompted a privacy setting update virtually after every other week from the social networking giant. With almost everyone with access to the Internet having a Facebook account, privacy has been a contentious issue for both Facebook and those affected by it. The social networking website has therefore taken another proactive step by making the early draft of a revamped privacy policy public. In case you’re wondering, that’s the deliberately confusing legalese part that you’re supposed to acknowledge before you can join, create an account or install a program.

While the updated policy does not change Facebook’s existing methods of harvesting user information, it makes the whole process more transparent and easy to understand. This move comes after Facebook itself admitted that its existing privacy policy is “longer than the U.S. constitution – without the amendments”. The new draft is shorter and, more importantly, easier to understand, with headings like “your information and how it is used,” and “how advertising works,” which make the process clear to a layman.

However, there is still a grey area in how Facebook defines “your information”, which Nicole Ozer, a policy director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, contends does not include user data like the IP addresses, triangulated location of a mobile phone, and the date and time stamp of the uploaded photographs. Despite the downers and ambiguity of the definition of user information, this is a step in the right direction. It’s not often that a big corporation simplifies the legalese and keeps the users in the loop before making a decision.

  • Gadgetwise: Facebook Facelifts Its Privacy Policy (
  • Facebook Simplifies Its Privacy Policy (
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  • Facebook ‘Re-Imagines’ Its Privacy Policy (
  • Facebook Privacy Policy Gets “Re-imagined” (
  • Facebook Wants Your Opinion On Its New Privacy Policy (
  • Facebook’s privacy policy – Not just for legal Docs anymore! (
  • Facebook Writes Its Privacy Policy in a Language Humans Can Read (
  • Facebook Makes Privacy Policy Easier to Read (
  • Facebook Proposes ‘Data Use’ Policy To Replace ‘Privacy Policy’ (