Facebook's Big Assumption: Almost Every Product Is Better When It's 'Social'

By Alexis C. Madrigal

"We think almost every product is better when you can experience it with the people you care about."

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Last week Facebook filed its first quarterly earnings report, and investors were disappointed. The company just isn't growing fast enough to support the hypothetical numbers analysts have in their spreadsheets to justify Facebook's share price. Mark Zuckerberg, presumably anticipating that reaction, baked in a response in his opening statement on his company's conference call with analysts. You've probably heard a variation of this before, but it's worth noting again (emphasis mine):

We believe one of the biggest opportunities we have is to create the identity and social layers that all new apps and websites can be built on top of. We think almost every product is better when you can experience it with the people you care about so over time we expect almost all of these products should naturally become social.

Whether or not you think almost every product -- TVs, cars, pets, refrigerators, running shoes -- is better when it's "social," will probably determine your gut feeling about Facebook's long-term prospects.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/07/facebooks-big-assumption-almost-every-product-is-better-when-its-social/260468/