Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg sat down with John Battelle at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. She talked about Facebook’s Bing search deal and noted that Facebook is cash-flow positive. As far as the IPO goes… “I’ll answer that later,” she said.
Interesting: No money exchanged hands in Facebook’s Bing deal. “We are not trying to make money on data,” Sandberg said. This is different from Twitter, which appears to be trying to sell its data to search engines like Bing and Google.
LIVE notes follow. Direct quotes in quotations, the rest paraphrased.
What’s Facebook’s unique proposition?
No cake is ever baked in the Internet space. Facebook is where you are yourself on the Web. We give people by far the most privacy controls. Can share something with the whole world, with high school friends, etc.
Facebook connect: Has it changed? What’s going on? Brings up HuffPo partner, 15k total. Can log into another site with Facebook ID, bringing your friends with you. People aren’t going to set up a friend network on every site.
JB: How much more will we be able to do?
Obviously more coming. Will roll out over time. Focusing on making it easier to use for partners, working on really cool integrations, Not working on monetization right now.
Zynga doing great with our platform.
JB: Zynga doing lots of money with PayPal. Are you going to do your own payment system? When?
SS: There’s a lot of speculation on payment, not going to talk about what we might do. For now, large ad system. Allow payments for ads. Testing credits with some developers. That’s all we’re talking about right now.
JB: Facebook feels a little Twittery. Was it already in product plan or giving Twitter credit?
SS: Anyone who’s worked at Facebook knows that change is in our DNA. Existed long before I joined company, before Twitter. Comes from Mark. We think Twitter is impressive, they’ve built something important. We think moving toward more sharing, real-time sharing, and more connections. When we launched status updates, people asked “why?” And now the world accepts that 140 characters is important. We know there’s room for more than one player. We think Twitter is a very important player, and we are too.
JB: Scale different.
SS: 45 million status updates a day from 30 million unique individuals.
JB: Has vision changed?
SS: I don’t think vision has changed since Mark was in Harvard dorm room. Vision is to help people connect. Certainly what we build changes.
Silicon Valley is an amazing force for our economy. We as industry, force. We’re changing the world. Build products that change peoples’ lives. I think our impact on policy is not as profound. Need to believe in globalization, free trade or freer trade, immigration stuff.
Privacy has always been very much in the centre of what we do. What FB has always offered is differentiate the info you share. Only FB does this.
JB: Facebook has never had content as centre of gravity. Is that going to change?
SS: No. It’s not going to change. We are busy enough just trying to build technology to help people share. Our content comes from users. We are a platform that helps you share whatever you will. We are important referrers; happy for others to be hosting that. We’re not going to hire an editorial staff and start procuring our own.
Q from audience: Bing is small. What about Facebook Google mashups?
SS: “Nothing to announce” non-answer. Obviously they’re working together.
No money exchanged hands in Bing-Facebook deal. “We are not trying to make money on data.”
SS joking about how she can’t help people become Facebook friends with their kids.