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Zuckerberg said Facebook is still innovating

Facebook has been a wildly successful social network, but that doesn't mean it hasn't seen some failures along the way. According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Home was at the top of that list. 
 
In a recent interview with Zuckerberg, the The New York Times made a point that Facebook's homemade features like Facebook Home and Graph Search have been flops. However, the companies it has acquired like Instagram and WhatsApp have been more successful which calls into question Facebook's ability to innovate. 
 
Zuckerberg defended Graph Search, saying that it's more of a long-term investment than Facebook Home. Graph Search is is a semantic search engine that was designed to give answers to a user's natural language queries rather than a list of links.
 
"With Graph Search, I think that modern search products have so much built into them that we knew it was going to be a five-year investment before we got anything really good and different," said Zuckerberg. "So far we’ve done these milestones. The first one was that we were able to search over structured connections on Facebook. That was important as a consumer product and also as infrastructure that we are using inside the company.
 
"The next focus is searching posts. All of this has been on desktop, and the real push is mobile. So I’m not that worried about it. I think the real question will be how effective it will be on mobile once post-search works. I think that’s a five-year thing. We have to think about it over a longer period of time."


Mark Zuckerberg [SOURCE: bkmag]

But Zuckerberg was quicker to admit that Facebook Home isn't too popular. Facebook Home is a user interface layer for Android-compatible smartphones, offering notifications and other Facebook-flavored features right on the lock screen. 
 
"With Home, the reception was much slower than we expected," said Zuckerberg. "But it was a riskier thing. It’s very different from other apps, let’s say Paper or Messenger. For those, you install it, and if it’s useful you’ll go back to it and use it. Home is your lock screen. When you install it, it’s really active, and if it does anything that you don’t like, then you’ll uninstall it."
 
Another innovation question brought forth by NYT is why Facebook couldn't develop something like WhatsApp instead of paying $19 billion USD for the acquisition, since it already had something similar (Facebook Messenger). Zuckerberg said that its Facebook Messenger is quite different from WhatsApp, and are both big in their separate markets. 
 
"I think you want to look at the things that we do in three stages. First, there’s Facebook the app. A billion people or more are using it, and it is a business," said Zuckerberg. "Next there’s Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Search — these are use cases that people use a lot, and they will probably be the next things that will become businesses at Facebook. But you want to fast-forward three years before that will actually be a meaningful thing.
 
"Then there are things that are nascent, that we’re inventing from scratch, like Home, Paper or any of the other Creative Labs work we’re going to do. Maybe in three to five years those will be in the stage where Instagram and Messenger are now. So what we want to do is build a pipeline of experiences for people to have. It would be a mistake to compare any of them in different life cycles to other ones.
 
"They’re in different levels."

Source: The New York Times





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