As Facebook approaches 10th birthday, Mark Zuckerberg opens up


On Tuesday, Facebook will celebrate a decade of social networking. The company’s Co-Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has recently opened up in candid interviews with NBC’s Today Show and Bloomberg Businessweek about the future of Facebook.

As Facebook matures into the double digits, it appears that Zuckerberg’s beliefs are changing. For instance, the new standalone apps (such as Paper) Facebook is developing may not require users to use their real name.

Zuckerberg spoke with NBC Today’s Savannah Guthrie about how Facebook has evolved over the past 10 years:

I remember really vividly, you know, having pizza with my friends a day or two after I opened up the first version of Facebook at my school.  And, you know, I was just really excited that we were doing it at one school.  And, you know, at the time I thought, “You know, someone needs to build a service like this for the world.”  I always thought that was this incredibly important thing to have happen.  But I just never thought that we’d be the ones to help do it.  And, you know, when I look back over the last ten years one of the questions that I ask myself is why were we the ones to help do this?  And I think a lot of what it comes down to is — we just cared more.

The full interview will run on NBC, Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Zuckerberg also offered an interview to Bloomberg Businessweek, who got a little more in-depth about the CEO’s plans for the future. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Zuckerberg is starting to embrace anonymity:

One thing about some of the new apps that will come as a shock to anyone familiar with Facebook: Users will be able to log in anonymously. That’s a big change for Zuckerberg, who once told David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect, that “having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.”

At the time of Facebook’s founding, there was no such thing as real identity online. Facebook became the first place where people met one another as themselves, and the company was stubborn about asking users to sign in and share material with their own names. A Facebook account became a sort of passport to the rest of the Web, and with its success came new problems. No teenager wants to share insane party pics with a group of friends that may include his or her parents and teachers. And dissidents in parts of the world where speaking freely can be incriminating avoided the service in favor of alternatives such as Twitter, where real names are optional.

Former Facebook employees say identity and anonymity have always been topics of heated debate in the company. Now Zuckerberg seems eager to relax his old orthodoxies. “I don’t know if the balance has swung too far, but I definitely think we’re at the point where we don’t need to keep on only doing real identity things,” he says. “If you’re always under the pressure of real identity, I think that is somewhat of a burden.” Paper will still require a Facebook login, but Zuckerberg says the new apps might be like Instagram, which doesn’t require users to log in with Facebook credentials or share pictures with friends on the social network. “It’s definitely, I think, a little bit more balanced now 10 years later,” he says. “I think that’s good.”

Image courtesy of Today.