7 Takeaways From Lasts Night's Talk With Mark Zuckerberg

Last night Mark Zuckerberg faced a dual interview from David Kirkpatrick, author of “The Facebook Effect”, and NPR’s Guy Raz, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. We attended the event to see what, if anything, would be announced, and while there weren’t any significant announcements, there were a few takeaways, all of which have been included below.

The Most Engaging Thing Online Is Other People

This isn’t exactly breaking news, however if you’re trying to figure out why your site isn’t performing well, you may want to ask yourself: “How many faces are on my website?” While you may have developed a clever way to drive traffic to your site, the best way of keeping people on that site is to display images which includes people. As Mark Zuckerberg told the audience last night, “The most engaging thing online is other people”, which is why more time is spent on Facebook than any other site on the internet.

People In Larger, Less Restrictive Networks Are More Engaged

While discussing the recent privacy hurdles that the company faced, Mark Zuckerberg disclosed that the company has seen an increased level of engagement among those networks that are larger and less restrictive. He stated that as the company expanded into new countries, like India, the entire country was a network and thus more people in each of those countries had access to more people. Zuckerberg also confessed that the small percentage of users who take advantage of a specific feature tend to be extremely passionate about that feature, hence the backlash when Facebook removed some privacy settings. The result has been a decrease in engagement levels within the more restrictive networks and an increase in engagement in less restrictive networks.

Facebook Is Working On Improving Friend Lists

After being hounded by David Kirkpatrick about “friend groupings”, Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the company had not build Friend Lists effectively. However he alluded to the idea that the company was actively working on an improved solution. He believes that the list model is not easy enough to use, despite the adamant protest of Sean Parker, according to David Kirkpatrick, for granular list functionality.

Don’t Expect Much To Come From Interviews

When asked by an audience member what questions he wished had been asked of him on stage, he said that in reality “I’m always most excited about what we’re working on now, but I can’t talk about it”. So don’t expect any news to come from Mark Zuckerberg during future interviews. While Guy Raz prodded to find out about what exists in Mark Zuckerberg’s “Black Book” today, he wasn’t able to get anything out of Zuckerberg who has now spent years being trained by PR pros.

Daily Percentage Of Active Users Has Increased

While you’d expect the daily percentage of users on Facebook to decrease as the site gains more users, Zuckerberg disclosed that the daily percentage of active users (which hovers near 50 percent), has actually gone up over the past year as the company approached 500 million users. It’s an incredible statistic which Facebook has proudly acknowledged on a regular basis.

400 Engineers

Right now Facebook has 400 engineers at the company building all the features that are used by the more than 500 million users. That’s approximately 1 engineer to each 1.25 million users on the site.

How To Become A Successful Entrepreneur

One of the best questions, or at least one of my personal favorites, from Guy Raz was “What makes a successful entrepreneur?” It’s something that I regularly focus on and while Zuckerberg didn’t respond with anything that was going to blow anyone away that has been studying entrepreneurship, he did give some good advice. He said two things make a good entrepreneur: “First, having a strong sense of what you want to do”, and second, “building a really great team”.