F8: Mark Zuckerberg Stresses Platform Stability, Users’ Control Of Data, Gap Between Mobile Platforms

By David Cohen 

ZuckerbergF8Keynote650Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the social network’s F8 global developer conference in San Francisco Wednesday with a keynote address during which he focused on steps being taken to ensure the stability of the Facebook platform for developers, to give users more control over the data they share with applications, and to bridge the gaps between mobile platforms that developers must typically contend with.

On the subject of platform stability, Zuckerberg said:

It’s really important for you and for all of our teams internally that we build stable and efficient infrastructure that you can rely on for the long term, so this has been a really big focus for us.

“Move fast with stable infra” may not have quite the same ring to it, may not be quite as catchy as “move fast and break things,” but it helps us build better experiences for all the people we serve. It’s how we operate now.

Zuckerberg added on the topic of user control of app data:

We take this really seriously. If people don’t have the tools they need to feel comfortable using your apps, then that’s bad for them and it’s bad for you. It will prevent people from having good personalized experiences and trying out new things, but it also might hurt you and prevent you from getting some new potential customers.

We need to do everything we can to put people first and give people the tools they need to be able to sign in and trust your apps.

And on dealing with various mobile platforms, he said:

It can be annoying to build for mobile because the mobile ecosystem is so siloed. Apple has a vertical platform. Google has a vertical platform. Microsoft has a vertical platform. And then there are the mobile Web, and others, too. These are all important platforms, and they’re each growing, but the thing is that all of these companies are just trying to compete and make their platforms better and more different from the others. No one has an incentive to help bridge the gaps between these platforms and make it easier to build on any of their competitors’ platforms.

But as a person using a phone, this is terrible. I just want to be able to buy a phone and have all of the apps that I want work on it. And as developers, of course, we want tools that work across all of these different platforms. It’s really annoying when we have to build the same thing three, four, or five times just because of these different stacks.

So our goal with Facebook is to build the cross-platform platform and provide all of the tools that you need to bridge these different worlds.

Zuckerberg wound down his keynote by saying:

On our 10th anniversary, we brought our whole company together, and we talked about our culture. We have this really strong hacker culture at Facebook, which helped us accomplish so much, helps us connect many different people.

Today is all about listening to you, and hearing the things that you want from our platform, and deepening how we support you in these three fundamental ways to help you build and monetize your app.

Readers: What did you think of Zuckerberg’s F8 keynote?

Photo by Praneendra Kuver for Inside Facebook.