Mark Zuckerberg Maps Out Facebook’s Next Billion

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By Kirsten Salyer

Apparently Mark Zuckerberg is not satisfied with Facebook Inc.'s market penetration. On Sept. 14, the social network reached 1 billion users, or one out of every seven humans worldwide. That means six of seven inhabitants of planet Earth are not users.

So the 28-year-old wunderkind/founder is holding a "hackathon" for Facebook employees. "People will be thinking of ideas and working on prototypes and things that we’ll need to do to help connect the next billion people," Zuckerberg tells Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone and Ashlee Vance. “Which I think is pretty cool.”

Since its beginnings in Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room in 2004, Facebook has weathered bad publicity, a (not very flattering) Hollywood movie and a disappointing initial public offering. Now the company wants to make its map of the Web, if not the world, more widely available.

With each additional user, Facebook adds another data point to its social network of the Web, which is based on user navigation and links between friends. Other companies can rely on Facebook "as a piece of critical infrastructure for registration," Zuckerberg says, which lets them take advantage of its growing database of trends and links between people. Someday Facebook may even be tied into finance, health care and aspects of governance, he says.

“The bigger question is, what services can get built now that every company can assume they can get access to knowing who everyone’s friends are.”

Facebook is focusing on mobile, counting on the world's 5 billion mobile device users to drive user growth and advertising revenue.

In other words: Facebook's goal remains world domination. Or, as Zuckerberg says in his status update this morning: “Hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too.”

What do you think? Is a world on Facebook a good thing?

(Kirsten Salyer is the social media editor for Bloomberg View. Follow her on Twitter.)

Read more breaking commentary from Bloomberg View at the Ticker.

-0- Oct/04/2012 16:41 GMT