If Facebook is going to build mobile phone software that makes phones more social, it had better have someone with platform experience running the show.
Luckily, it does!
In July, Facebook stole Erick Tseng from Google to be its VP of mobile products. At Google, Tseng was senior product manager of Android.
Android has been able to build market share and get developers to invest in its platform at insane speeds, something Facebook will need to do too.
And if Facebook is indeed using Android as the basis of its mobile software — “for sure,” according to a plugged-in Silicon Valley source — it’s hard to imagine someone better for the job than Tseng.
I sat down with Tseng last week at Facebook’s Palo Alto headquarters. And while he didn’t tell me anything new or specific about Facebook’s mobile strategy going forward, I sensed that he is aiming for something big. With Android under his belt, Tseng could have gone anywhere — a startup, any other big company, etc. — but he picked Facebook for a reason.
And in hindsight, I should have pushed him harder about the idea of Facebook re-working Android, and what mobile whiz Joe Hewitt was up to — he casually shrugged off both questions when I asked him.
But if you want to see what Tseng is thinking about, check out this line from an interview he did with my colleague Nicholas Carlson in July: