It's All About Growth for Facebook

Earlier this week Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, had an opportunity to address an audience at the American Magazine Conference. At the event Sandberg highlighted many of the challenges for Facebook that have been covered numerous times on this site. First and foremost, “Users are not on Facebook looking to buy something” while on Facebook. Sandberg also suggested what is widely known and that is “We need to find a new model and new metrics.”

In an interview the following day with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Zuckerberg suggested that monetization is still not a core focus at Facebook. Why? Well aside from the fact that the company has millions of dollars in the bank it just isn’t important to them currently. According to Zuckerberg, “In three years from now we have to figure out what the optimum model is. But that is not our primary focus today.”

One other interesting note that Zuckerberg makes is that he believes social networks could cannibalize e-mail. This only leads me to wonder why on earth the company hasn’t come up with a better messaging system. I receive an increasing number of messages on Facebook and it only becomes more challenging to respond to. Ultimately I think they’ll resolve this problem eventually but I surely hope it comes sooner rather than later.

One final interesting component of Zuckerberg’s interview with the German newspaper was in response to a question regarding his business relationship with Sheryl Sandberg. He states, “She is an excellent manager. She is very good in building our international organization. I’m focused on the direction of the company, especially of the product development, and the overall strategy.”

Many interpreted that to be an insult to Sandberg. Others claim that it was a poorly translated statement. I’m not quite sure how you can screw up the translation when the interview was in English. Anyways, I’ll leave readers to judge what Zuckerberg meant by this statement. For the time being, don’t expect Facebook to announce any revolutionary monetization services … they’re focused on growth.