Expect an Official Facebook iPad App, but Not Facebook Webmail

In an uncomfortable, privacy-focused interview at the D8 conference happening outside of Los Angeles, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg provided a couple bits of product news. There will be an official Facebook iPad app at some point, but there won’t be a full-fledged email product.

Regarding the iPad app, he said simply “I assume [that] eventually we will…We’re still a pretty small company.” Many of us expected an official app to come with the device itself in April, but so far Facebook has just gotten Apple to shut down iPad developers who infringe on the company’s copyrights through unofficial apps.

Zuckerberg elaborated about the webmail rumor. “We’re not building a Web-mail competitor. People already use Facebook for messaging. There are definitely these great services that people use that are full Web-mail clients, but I think the opportunity is more around short-form communications.”

Based on past email rumors, however, we still wouldn’t be surprised to see improved features for Facebook’s message service — like personalized @facebook.com email accounts, and POP/IMAP support so you can read and respond to messages from other email clients, .

Much of the interview featured Zuckerberg being asked direct questions about the company’s approach to user privacy by conference hosts Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. His answers, on that front, mirrored what he told the press last week while personally introducing Facebook’s new privacy features (this time, in contrast, he seemed visibly thrown off by the hosts’ lines of questioning, sweating to the point that he took off his insigniad hoodie).

When asked, for example why Instant Personalization requires users to opt-out instead of opt-in — the product shares some Facebook users data with other sites without prior user permission — Zuckerberg described the design decision as a “balance.”

“My prediction would be a few years from now is that we’ll all look back and wonder why these services weren’t personalized,” he explained. “The world is moving in this direction where everything is designed around people.”

[Image via AllThingsD]

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