We’re here at f8 08, the annual Facebook developers’ conference at the Design Concourse in San Francisco. There’s a packed audience and Mark Zuckerberg just took the stage. We’ll be covering the keynote address live.
– At Facebook we have a deeply held purpose, but we didn’t write it down until a few months ago. I want to be able to build a product that allows you to really feel the person, and to share it. Our mission: “Give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” In the world we’re building where the world is more transparent, it becomes good for people to be good to each other. That’s really important as we try to solve some of the world’s problems.
– We can’t do that alone. We want the community and the ecosystem to be aligned with us. We want to make sure that the applications that provide the most long term value succeed the most in the ecosystem.
– Together, Facebook has grown from 24 million users this time last year to 90 million users today. Most of our growth over the last year has been international. 40% of Canadians have a Facebook account. Many of our users are in English speaking countries. We’ve also built a translation tool that allows users to translate Facebook into any language. Users translated the site into Spanish in 2 weeks, then into French in 24 hours. We’re now in over 60 different language. We’re offering those translation tools to developers today.
– Over half of our developers are also abroad. This is a big deal not only for english speaking developers who want to reach the rest of the world, but international developers who want to reach english speakers.
– Comparing Facebook developers to other things: iLike has more bands than MySpace. Zynga has more players than Vegas has hotel rooms. Causes’ Stop Global Warming cause has more members than Al Gore’s Alliance.
– There’s also been over 30 VC investments in statrups building on the Facebook Platform. Just this week, Zynga, LivingSocial, and Flixster announced that they’ve raised money. There’s no stronger endorsement than that.
– News Feed enables a virtuous cycle of sharing and viewing. The week after we launched News Feed, page views increased by half. For example, iLike grew to 1 million users within 4 days of launching on the Platform last year.
– We launched the Platform as quickly as we could, not expecting developers to build many applications for a little while. It’s been really challenging for us to guide the ecosystem in the direction that is good for users in the long run. We’ve learned that we need to communicate more with the developer community. We need to align incentives better, and we haven’t done enough to either reward applications moving the ecosystem forward, or punish the ones that were abusive. If we want to have a system that’s going to be able to handle the volume of information flowing through the system, we’ve learned that need to make the Facebook site more simple and elegant.
– The goals of our redesign: 1) give people more power tools to share, 2) reward applications that help people share, 3) simplify the site. When you see someone’s wall, we really want you to get the feeling that you understand this person, and can interact with them. The feeds are a great way for developers to help developers share more information. In the old system, developers’ information was present on the profile even if the user only used it once. In the new system, developers’ information presence will be proportional to the amount of sharing users are doing with the application. We’ve created this new “full” type of feed story to allow users to make certain stories important. We’ve also enabled friends to share information about you on your profile as well in medium sized stories. We also have the short one lined story, and we’ve started aggregating them so that they create less clutter.
– We’re going to create a new view on the News Feed to show All Stories, so that you can see a log of all the activity in your network.
– Facebook Connect: We think we’re at a point today where things are going to decentralize quite a bit, and we want to push this forward. We think the best way to do this is to build the core platform, the feed infrastructure, and a variety of communication mechanisms. But we fully expect that in the future less of this is going to happen on Facebook.com and more is going to happen on others’ applications. This year, we’re going to push for parity between what applications inside Facebook can do, and what applications outside Facebook can do.
– Our goals for Facebook Connect: 1) build the same kinds of applications across the web, 2) share information across the web, 3) control your information across the web. This time, your Christmas won’t be ruined, we’ve learned from last time. We’re giving users much more control. We’re also making available the standard requests and comments interface for web sites to implement in the first version of Facebook Connect. We have some demos from launch partners that we’ve been working with to launch Connect.
– Joe Stump, Digg: Now, all the 90 million Facebook users are going to be able to join the Digg army with 1 click of the button. As a developer, I now no longer have to deal with registration or authentication, Facebook handles all of that. For users, whenever they Digg, it will automatically sync with your Facebook account.