Zuckerberg: Phone ‘wouldn’t make much sense’ for Facebook
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said building an entire phone doesn’t make sense for the social networking company.
Despite a report Wednesday that Facebook could launch its own device manufactured by HTC as early as mid-2013, Zuckerberg said a Facebook phone is not currently in the cards. At least not one built entirely by the Menlo Park, Calif., company.
After being asked which was more important -- owning an entire phone experience, being an application or being a platform that feeds into many applications -- Zuckerberg said that for now, the company wants to focus on increasing “the depth of the experience in addition to just growing users.”
Zuckerberg said that at this point, Facebook is focused more on integrating itself into other phones as much as possible than on building its own device.
“You’ll see us do things like support Apple in the iOS integration that they wanted to do,” the Facebook co-founder said. “There are lots of things that you can build in other operating systems as well that aren’t really building out a whole phone, which I think really wouldn’t make much sense for us to do.”
But although it seems the possibility of phone manufacturing has been tossed out the window, some of Zuckerberg’s wording raises the question: Is Facebook building an operating system?
“We want to support a development ecosystem where other apps can build on top of Facebook,” Zuckerberg said just before the previous quote.
And later in his answer, Zuckerberg talked about why all this integration presents a great opportunity for Facebook. Yet those same points are also reasons a Facebook phone could make sense for the company.
“There’s a big opportunity for us here,” he said. “The amount of time that people spend in the apps is greater; people come to the apps and use Facebook more when they have mobile phones.”
Regardless, Zuckerberg was not shy about how important mobile is to Facebook, and it seems the company has big plans.
“If you use the apps today, they’re relatively basic compared to what I think anyone can imagine they would want from a Facebook experience on a phone,” he said.
Your guide to our clean energy future
Get our Boiling Point newsletter for the latest on the power sector, water wars and more — and what they mean for California.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.