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Mark Zuckerberg talks Facebook's 'failures' and why he's not impressed with Secret

Mark Zuckerberg talks Facebook's 'failures' and why he's not impressed with Secret

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently sat down for an interview with The New York Times and touched on a number of topics, covering everything from the company's perceived lack of innovation to his thoughts on new apps like Secret. When questioned on some of Facebook's "failures" in recent years, Zuckerberg admitted some of the company's ideas — Facebook Home chief among them — have failed to pick up any real momentum, but he said there are valid reasons for that. "The reception was much slower than we expected," he said of Home, the company's Android lockscreen replacement. "When you install it, it’s really active, and if it does anything that you don’t like, then you’ll uninstall it." Essentially, Zuckerberg believes that Home's ambitious nature has limited its potential success.

But he's not convinced Facebook's other initiatives like Graph Search can be considered flops just yet. "I think that’s a five-year thing. We have to think about it over a longer period of time," he said of refining search. Facebook's next big push to improve Graph Search will let users search through post content (i.e. status updates) on the site, but Zuckerberg didn't specify when that feature will be added.

Facebook's Graph Search.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook is also running the long game when it comes to high-profile acquisitions like Instagram and WhatsApp. "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." According to Facebook's CEO, the company wants to "build a pipeline of experiences for people to have." Projects like Paper and Facebook Messenger are included in that mission, but Zuckerberg readily admits those apps "aren’t going to move any needles in our business for a very long time." Still, you're likely to see more of them, as Zuckerberg insists "there’s a big premium on creating single-purpose first-class experiences."

Facebook looks far into the future when making big purchases

The subject of virtual reality wasn't raised during the interview, but Zuckerberg did note that his company isn't obsessed with putting its name on everything — perhaps to quell fears that the Oculus Rift will eventually carry Facebook branding. "There are some sets of experiences that are just better with other identities," he said. "I think you should expect to see more of that."

On the subject of apps based around anonymity, Zuckerberg said that Facebook isn't convinced it's a recipe for success. "I’m not going to say it can’t work, because I think that is too extreme," he said. "But I tend to think some of these interactions are better rooted in some sense of building relationships." A total lack of identity in apps like Secret makes "building an understanding of people" much more difficult. "So anonymity is not the first thing that we’ll go do," Zuckerberg said. The entire chat, which also includes Zuckerberg's take on Tesla and the difficulty of reeling in younger users, is worth the read.