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Eduardo Saverin: Facebook can 'be as big as we can imagine'

Facebook is prepping for its eagerly anticipated $5-billion initial public stock offering, tweaking its site for businesses and advertisers, and possibly facing a lawsuit from Yahoo. But, at just 8 years old, Facebook is still just getting started, said Eduardo Saverin, a co-founder of the world's most popular social network.

Saverin, who rarely does interviews, spoke on TV for the first time with CNBC's Brian Sullivan on the show "Worldwide Exchange" on Wednesday, offering his take on Facebook's potential, which he believes is massive.

"I think it can really be as big as we can imagine," Saverin said of Facebook, a company he co-founded with current Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg before being pushed out with about a 5% ownership stake in hand.

"Really, if you look at the company itself ... it's in the very early beginnings. And there's just a lot of things to get done.

"What Facebook had really done today is it allowed us to have identity on the Web. Now there's our passport and that includes a bunch of different things that we do, such as our social graph, our people around us, the things that we like, and there's a lot more to do."

Facebook, which has more than 800 million users worldwide, will grow in terms of both new users signing up and also existing members using the social network more and sharing more with one another, Saverin told CNBC at a networking event hosted by the Young Presidents Organization in Singapore.

"In terms of user growth you have the limit of the world's population," he said. "I think it’s going to expand in terms of user growth, but I think really one of the things that's fairly unique is that we've just touched the surface in terms of what type of applications and uses the social graph and what Facebook has done can help with."

Saverin, 29, also talked a bit about his current life as a start-up investor and the companies he's decided to help fund -- the comparison-shopping app ShopSavvy, the credit card processing firm Jumio and the software company Qwiki, which builds in real time visual presentations cobbled together from information found across the Web.

Each of those companies, CNBC pointed out, is a consumer-focused start-up, a side of technology that is lacking in innovation, Saverin said. While Facebook has made some online tasks easier for consumers, there's still a lot of work to be done, he said.

"In terms of Jumio, you need to perfect the payment infrastructure both in terms of fraud and in terms of the facility for you to actually pay," Saverin said. "In terms of ShopSavvy, you really need to bridge, as an example, e-commerce between the brick-and-mortar sites and what's happening on the Web and with your friends .... [T]here's so much to focus on."


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