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Zuckerberg speaks: Why Facebook isn't cool and the reason behind the forced Messenger migration

Caitlin McGarry | Nov. 10, 2014
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wasn't always comfortable speaking in public. He still trips over his words sometimes and he tends to stick to his talking points. But after years of weekly Q&As with Facebook employees, he decided to open up the floor so the social network's users could ask their own questions.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wasn't always comfortable speaking in public. He still trips over his words sometimes and he tends to stick to his talking points. But after years of weekly Q&As with Facebook employees, he decided to open up the floor so the social network's users could ask their own questions.

Zuckerberg invited people to submit their questions on his Facebook page and then answered the most-liked questions in a Thursday night town hall-style livestream. The most popular questions were obvious ones: "Why did you force us toinstall Facebook Messenger?" and "What happened to my business's organic page reach?" Zuck cleared up some confusion, but also spilled details about products that Facebook never released and why he wears the same outfit every day.

On Facebook Messenger

Zuckerberg: Asking everyone in our community to install another app, Messenger, was a big ask. I appreciate that that required work and was a bunch of friction. The reason why we wanted to do this is because we really believe that this is a better experience. Messaging was this behavior that people were doing more and more — there were more than 10 billion messages being sent each day on Facebook. In order to get to your messages, you had to open the app and go to a separate tab. All of the messaging apps that people relied on the most were these dedicated, focused experiences.

Even though it was a short-term, painful thing to ask folks to install a separate messaging app, we knew we could never deliver the quality of experience inside the tab in the main Facebook app, and we knew that to focus on serving this well, we had to build a dedicated and focused experience. We have a lot to earn in terms of trust and proving this stand-alone Messenger experience will be really good, and we're committed to doing that.

On unreleased Facebook products

Zuckerberg: Last year we were getting a lot of feedback that the design of News Feed on our desktop website felt really outdated. We try to focus on showing the best content and giving people the tools to share what they want with their friends. People would say, "This looks like a website from 1990." That hurt.

We were happy with the new design. People who used this just did not like it. They used it less. They were able to learn less about what was going on with their friends. We realized that we at Facebook design our products for big monitors. It gave us a blind spot to the computers that most people are actually using in the world. We designed this version of News Feed that was very spaced out. It had a lot of white space.

 

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