Three Questions for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

mark zuckerbergimage: Martin Schoeller for TIME

Dear Mark,

Last week, everyone was talking about Facebook filing its S-1 to go public. While I don't necessarily know what that means, I get the basic idea. You are getting more investors, more stakeholders, and essentially, more money. $5 billion to be exact.

That is great, Mark. Really. You worked your tail off, and you deserve it. Let's face it, you changed the Internet in a major way. TechCrunch writes that “Before Facebook it was nearly impossible to actually find people, you could “google” them but finding the person you wanted within one search wasn’t a given.  We now take it for granted, but that extension of people search and connecting them was certainly evolutionary.”

However, can I be honest? I'm a little nervous, Mark.

So, if I may, I have three questions I'd like to ask you.

Nothing too big or controversial. Just simple questions that affect me, the Facebook user.

1. How will the average Facebooker be affected by the influx of Marketers and brands looking to advertise on Facebook?

My fear is that in the coming years, Facebook will be inundated with marketers to the point that original content will be sparse. Facebook has become a huge part of my life, connecting me with friends, family and everyone in between. But throughout the years, it has become a bigger player in advertising and marketing. Now, I have ads on the side of my screen but will these ads eventually make their way to my news stream? Do you have new ideas on how ads will work in the Facebook Timeline?

2. How are you planning on making the world open and more connected?

In your letter to your shareholders, you stated that “Facebook was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected.” But now, with your IPO filing, you will have board members and stakeholders to answer to. Won't those additions make it hard for you to do exactly what you want? Will their private interests affect you and Facebook?

3. What is your vision for Facebook in the next 5 years?

You don't have to spill your entire game plan (although you could! I won't tell!) but I'd like to know what you have in general in terms of updates and Facebook functionality. $5 billion is a hefty amount of cash to raise and the opportunities for growth with Facebook are endless. Will there be more video content? How are you going to keep your users with competition like Google +? Will brands have better fan pages? Can you just give me a slice of what's going to happen?

Well, that's about it, Mark. I know you are a busy man but if you could get back to me soon, that would be great.

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6 Responses

  1. Hayley

    Hey, I found this really interesting. I’ve often wondered how much more advanced technology can get and Facebook specifically. The answer to that is, a lot more. I guess it is going to keep on surprising us – maybe one of us will change the world of fashion through our blogs?


  2. madeleine gallay

    Interesting points but to a large degree Mr. Zuckerberg will maintain a level of absolute control by virtue of his position and more powerfully owning a tidy 57% of shares.

    Strangely (well to me, still not loving Google +), Google + has deeper integration with brands than Facebook. The brand integration on Facebook has room to grow and modulating advertising revenue along with the 13% of all revenue received from Zynga (games on FB), plenty of room for more and more targeted advertising showing up.

    It would be nice if this landed on Mark’s desk.

  3. Lauren W

    Well facebook is already full of marketers, though IPO or no, increasing revenue will always be a priority for facebook. It’s a business after all. I look forward to seeing what evolves out of this

  4. Denise

    Thanks for this, Amanda. I am highly wary of Zuckerberg’s real intentions for Facebook, especially after seeing a BBC doc a while back. One of his drones really has convinced himself that the ‘sponsored stories’ really are news, and therefore not advertising, and therefore he thinks he can convince us. And Zuck speaking so shamelessly about the point of his original FB being to rate people’s looks – photos uploaded without their permission – told me everything I needed to know about the guy.

  5. Handmade Reviews Beauty Blog

    To be honest, I’m more concerned about Google+. Google has been trying very hard to integrate all of its products, tying them together into a giant kingdom and monopolizing most of the Internet. Google prioritizes the influence of their social network over the search results that are actually beneficial to searchers. This goes against everything that was once Google. I fear that in a few years, good and relevant search results may be overshadowed…

    Anyway, I guess we’ll never know for sure. We can’t blame companies for wanting more and more and more money. We can only fear the results.