News Ticker

Larry Magid’s Live Blog of Facebook Announcement

10:37: Mark Zuckerberg is in the back of the room now.

10:40: Mark Zuckerberg is just starting. Promises that it’s not about what people have speculated about

Company coming out of 60-day lock down mode says Mark Z


Talking about changes to photos, making them hi-rez, new uploader, etc
10:41: Making improvements to chat network (thankfully)

10:43: This summer we focused a lot on making content high quality (Mark Z). Cut down on spam, improved games policy. Made it so users now all have “real names.” If name doesn’t look real, they make them prove they’re real


Says that FB Places is already the biggest location app “that’s out there.”

Has seen a big surge in gaming growth on FB

“Lock down was a pretty busy time for us. Lots more releases coming.”


“We’re trying to build a social platform that’s very diff from building a social app. When building an app it’s for 1 use case (games, status updates, etc). Hard to get dynamics of that right but its a lot more challenging to build a platform


Key to making a platform is giving people a very easy way to control the info they disclose.

Key is making sure people have good controls that are simple yet powerful. “This is the big problem we work at at FB”

Today we have 3 things to talk about that are new.

Big challenge is to make it easy and safe for people to take their info to another service.


He’s talking about giving people a copy of all their information. Download all your info from FB to your PC

New product called “Download Your Information.” We zip up all your posts, photos, etc and you can download the file to a computer.


2nd thing is a dashboard for all your apps to see the last time the app accessed your data. You can change permission, uninstall app from dashboard.,

Mark is turning podium over to David Recordon to talk about download your info

Have a copy of all your information, all of your data. Rolling out feature today

Combining all info into a single zip file. “You should really understand that this is all of your personal info. You should take security seriously. Will ask for your password before you can download

Carl (not sure of last name) talking about new dashboard

Combined 2 screens into single screen accessible from main privacy controls

The Apps, Games and Websites Dashboard shows permissions granted to each app, lets you manage the permissions and in some cases manage on a granular basis. Last thing is that it gives you detailed log of what “API calls” that app is making over time. Not just the permissions but what it’s actually doing.

Greater viability will make developers more careful about what info they access

Mark is back at the podium (actually walking around in front of room).

I’ve met and interviewed Mark before and now (as then) he’s far more personable than te movie portrays him. Smiles, laughs and connects with people. The movie persona is not Mark Z.

Mark Z talking about how you have different social circles that you want to interact with in different ways.

Sometimes “just your friends” isn’t private enough. Sometimes you want to post to a sub-group of your friends, not just for privacy but because you may not want to bug all your friends with everything you post. Sometimes its just for a sub-group of friends

How do you map out “all the real world groups that you have in the graph?” says Mark Z

Goals of what Mapping Out subgroups

Map all real world groups
Everyone participates
Useful in lots of ways

Building a way so you don’t have to pick out groups of people each time such as when you want to invite people to events.

Mark is talking about other ways to do this group function. Another way is to have sub-groups of friends “lists.” (Actually they have long had a list function but only 5% of people ever use it)

“Nobody wants to make lists.”

Has a system in company that indexes each relationship and makes it so that with all of your interactions we can filter stuff based on who you are likely to be close with. Use this in a bunch of places such as chat interface. Doesn’t have all your friends but the ones FB’s software thinks you’re closest with.

Trouble with the software approach is that it’s easy to get it wrong. You might be going back and forth with a carpenter who is working on your house but he or she might not be a close friend

Almost worse to get it right — a girl you’re flirting with and an ex-girlfriend had better not show up on the same list

Still hasn’t said exactly what they are launching. Just talking about problems with creating groups of sub-friends on the service using code. “Can’t guess what people’s clusters are with a lot of accuracy.”

Real solution is simpler. Let people tag themselves.

It’s a social problem and that’s why we solved it.

Useful in lots of context. That’s what this group thing is about. “A social solution” that takes advantage of real world connections. Already the case with photos where friends can tag your photos.

What will work and be a building block is to build “the best group communications tools.”

Like photos, groups have the property that not everyone has to set them up themselves.

It’s a product and a fundamental building block called Groups.


Shared Space
Group Chat
Email lists

Mark inviting Justin Shafer to talk about groups. Joined FB from HotPotato that they acquired

Each group reps a space shared among a small group of friends.

Groups works like a mailing list

You could have a group of friends you hike with and send them a message about an upcoming hike.

Works like photo tag. Create a group, add friends and other group members can add members. Social norms govern it. Don’t add non-family members to family group. Also group chat. Like 1 on 1 but with entire group

Groups work just like mailing lists. You can send and receive mail within your group. Also mobile interface for groups.

Adding a document you can edit just like Google Docs

1. Create a group
2. Add your friends
3. Start sharing

Chris Cox now talking about how “social design is a new way of approaching old problems.” Feels like a brand new field

Chris Cox said that early web designers were print designers. Now approaching problems in a completely different way. Social design.

If you think about answering semantically rich questions, we can design complex software for that and another way is to build a social interaction to unlock human behavior that says ‘I want to answer stuff.”

Cox says that FB stays up to date because people are always updating their relationships. “The interaction of one person with the product affect and organize the interactions of people around them.”
Our solution to organizing groups is not just a filter on your news feed but a way of designing a space (like your dinner table or local coffee shop)

News feed is a good space for telling what happened but not a way to share what’s happening like at the dinner table. Groups has its own logo and meant to resemble a human space so people can feel comfortable interacting with it” Chris Cox

Q&A Time. I will have to take a quick break to do a live radio piece on this. you can listen at or tune into KCBS AM or FM in San Fran.

I’m back. Q&A still going on

Zuck: 3 privacy settings for groups. Open,Closed and Secret

Secret group is one where content and membership is secret. Closed is open only to invited people.

When you download your FB info they send an email asking you to confirm password and make sure it’s a computer you’ve used in past, an area you are known to be from as additional input for identity verification.

Zuck: If you want to make sure everyone is safe and you can never hurt them then you start building walls but those are the same walls that block innovation. But if you take down all the walls it can present danger. We debated controls a lot and whether it was really safe and worth doing. (Paraphrased). He worries that some people will try to exploit it. We thing “People should be allowed to download their info.” We give them as much protection as we can.

Questioner asks if you will be able to easily invite a group to an event., Answer is Yes.

Won’t remove old features like “Lists.” Mark says that people put a lot of work into creating them. Even though it’s 5% there is “no need to delete 25 million people’s work” They will continue to allow old groups and old lists.

We want to build a simple product.

Cox: Newsfeed is a summary of everything is going on. That will continue to be shared with lots and lots of people. We want that to continue. But when people go to what’s on your mind box and consider the amount of people they’re interrupting.

Q&A about to wrap up. Taking last question. When you download do you get info about all your friends or just you. Mark Z says it’s about your info. We will let you include everything, even the actual video you uploaded. All YOUR info, message threads, status updates. Not your friends info because that’s not your info.

Thanks everyone for joining. This was my first live blog. If you’d like to stay in touch, drop me a note at, visit my site at and follow me on Twitter at @larrymagid.


And of course here on HuffPost at

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