Mark Zuckerberg on product development at Facebook [Video]

Mark Zuckerberg touches on privacy issues with Facebook user's information

Mark Zuckerberg discusses the process of product development at Facebook: “When we’re designing stuff, we look not necessarily at what any given user is going to experience, but what’s going to be better for the whole community and the whole product”. This is especially relevant to social media where, unlike retail, their use of the product is all about the shared experience.

Zuckerberg describes the trade offs that happen in the development of a product, deliberating over whether to allow users to see profiles of users from other schools: “If we made the space too broad and let anyone see your information then that would probably be fine and you’d look up some people but you also probably wouldn’t link up your cell phone”.

The entrepreneur says that having people link their mobiles to Facebook is “useful for the application”, and beneficial for the company. But it was a “trade off” between “what would be more useful” – for people to be able to “see everyone” but not feel it was a “secure environment” to share thoughts and interests, or a place where “more information… and expression was available but to a smaller audience”.

Zuckerberg says these decisions are often “gut level”, but he advises you to be “as academic as possible”, and think about the different outcomes to see what would work best for the company and its customers.

He concludes that you should “define your objectives”, so as “to optimise for the best of the whole community and the whole user base”. Clear goals will help you focus on what is most important for the business.

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