Facebook embracing an open Web

John Shinal · July 23, 2008 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/345
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Zuckerberg tells f8 Facebook is all about openness and doing good

For someone who says he wasn't on a vision quest, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was talking like someone who was.

While meeting with a Turkish engineer during his recent month-long travels, Zuckerberg had his a-ha moment about what Facebook's mission should be.

He says that Facebook is all about "making the world a more connected place... making connections between people more open... making the world more transparent."

Toward that end, Facebook is going to use its Facebook Connect initiative, first announced two months ago, to open itself wide to the Web.

Users will be able export their profiles, including their friend lists, to external Web sites, and import content they create outside Facebook.

"The majority of good apps on Facebook will come from outside the site," he said.

It's a major shift from the walled-garden concept it was emphasizing last year.

Zuckerberg is clearly jazzed about all this, to the point where it sounded like he had a religious conversion. He used the word good so many times that it sounded like he was channeling a Tibetan holy man speaking a mantra.

"We're at the beginning of a movement, the beginning of an industry," Zuckerberg said.

Not sure how much of it was his rough skills as a presenter or a lack of conviction, but there were several long pauses that made it seem like Zuckerberg was putting on a performance, rather than speaking with sincerity.

Within its own walls, there will be changes as well, beginning with how the company deals with application developers.

"We've learned a few lessons in the last year. We haven't done enough to reward our good citizens... and we haven't punished those that have abused the system."

It plans to reward the people who make it easier to share, while playing bad cop with those who try to use spam-like tactics to spread their programs. 

Zuckerberg also announced that Flixter and Zynga received funding through the Facebook Fund.

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