Facebook’s Sandberg Talks Privacy, ‘The Social Network,’ and More During Ad Week

Photo: Nancy Lazarus

The growing role of social media versus websites, openness versus privacy, community giving, and the new movie The Social Network were among the topics covered when Arianna Huffington interviewed Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, during day three of Advertising Week at a Huffington Post event on social media.

For marketers to reach their audience, Sandberg said, “Now people are spending more time on social media and less time than they once did on websites. More marketers now are tying their campaigns to social media since that is where their customers are.” She said that the personalized nature of social media was also a factor driving its popularity.

In describing the evolution of social media and Facebook, Sandberg commented that openness is more common today among the younger generation. She said, “No one used to put their identities online as they do now.” She described Facebook as an open platform, and added, “The open versus closed debate on the Web is real. Facebook’s answer is clear – we allow for sharing and connecting and want to be able to do that on any platform.”

As for Facebook privacy decisions, she said, “Every individual owns their Facebook information, and it is up to them how to share it. They must understand their control over their own information. Facebook privacy settings got too complicated, so we simplified them.” She also acknowledged that social media “must have tools for people who are private and for those who are more open.”

Sandberg saw the movie The Social Network, and described it as “fun, fiction, and very Hollywood.” She said that in the real life version of the launch of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was sitting around with his friends and ordering pizza, and that would not make for an interesting movie for two hours.”