If the motion picture “The Social Network” were 100% true than Mark Zuckerberg has grown up a lot since college in that he gives great answers like the one in the headline and then qualifies them with a complete explanation.
From last week when Facebook sent the invites out for their “mobile” event yesterday, until well, yesterday, the blogsphere was a buzz with Facebook hardware rumors. There was speculation on both the Monday Night Android Guys’ podcast, and the Tuesday night Android afterdark podcast. Both podcast had panelists which thought there could be hardware, but both podcasts both had panelists which were sure it was just “deeper integration”. And it’s “Deeper Integration” For The Win.
In a post event interview, Facebook sat down with Mashable’s Ben Parr and of course the Facebook Phone was part of that discussion.
When probed about the Facebook phone rumors by Reuters’, Alexei Oreskovic, Zuckerberg said “First of all, we’re not a hardware company,”, and “Second of all, our goal is not to sell anything physical; our goal is to make it so that everything can be social.”
There are many reasons that we find this is no surprise. On Tuesday’s Don’t Hate the Geek podcast both “The Geek”, “MsFoxylady” and myself all gave good reasons that a Facebook phone wouldn’t work and all agreed the announcement would be deeper integration. Zuckerberg validated that yesterday.
Zuckerberg went on to say if Facebook were to offer a phone it would only penetrate a small amount of the market. Even if they sold 20 million units it would be just a small percentage of Facebook’s 500 Million user base, and an even smaller percentage of the entire amount of mobile devices in the world.
Although some consider Zuckerberg to be socially “awkward” it’s been his goal since the initial launch of Facebook at Harvard, that he wanted to use a website and the internet to actually make people more social. Zuckerberg has definitely achieved this goal. When you think about it, there are so many people who use Facebook as their main method of communication, which actually consists of more interaction with others than they’d have at a mall with 1000’s of people in it. If Facebook were to shift their focus to harware they would alienate some of their key partners needed to make mobile more social.
We’re confident that some sensationalistic rumor monger is going to say “what Zuckerberg said doesn’t matter they’re making a phone”, but really, they aren’t. Zuckerberg is a really smart guy and so far hasn’t hoodwinked us. In fact he is adamant about not making a phone and added this final thought:
“We don’t sell hardware,” he stated. “That’s just not what we do. And it’s really damaging for us if that rumor is out, because then the people we actually partner with think we’re actually competitors.”