November 17, 2010

Zuckerberg Says Facebook Not Going Public Anytime Soon

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday that the social network is nowhere near going public and issuing stock.

"Don't hold your breath," Mark Zuckerberg said at a Web 2.0 Summit when asked about when privately-held Facebook would have an initial public offering (IPO) of stock.

Zuckerberg said he and his relatively small team of about 300 engineers are busy building Facebook into a hub for the kinds of online social sharing that promises to infuse and transform all types of industries.

"Over the next five years, most industries are going to be rethought and designed around people," Zuckerberg said. "A social version of anything can almost always be more engaging and outperform a non-social version."

He said that the game industry was the first to "tip" as shown by the impressive success of Zynga.

According to startup founder Mark Pincus, over 320 million people have played Zynga online social games like "FarmVille" and "Mafia Wars" since the company was founded in San Francisco in 2007.

Zuckerberg predicted the shift to social dynamics would transform music, movies, news and other industries that allow people to share information.

"We should play a role in helping to transform those industries," Zuckerberg said. "Anything that doesn't have to be built by us, we would rather not be built by us."

Zuckerberg answered "Not Yet" when asked if Facebook would be integrated with Apple's Ping social feature it recently added to its iTunes application.

Facebook said it wants to be at the heart of people's online social lifestyles, no matter what devices are used to access the Internet.

Over half of the social network's 500 million users access the site on a daily basis.


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