Zuckerberg learns

I didn’t like much of what I read about Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Seemed like a bratty kid, ego on overdrive. The questions about perhaps appropriating the idea from Harvard classmates cast a shadow to me.

But I am impressed with what I’m reading about him now. Today in The New York Times, Brad Stone profiles some new Facebook integration tools, and in the article some quotes from Zuckerberg that are out of step with his old persona, to say the least.

Like this:

“We paid a lot of attention to making sure that people have complete control over what is in their feed,” he said. “We learned from last time.”

And this:


“As happy as I am with the growth of the ecosystem, there are a lot of mistakes we made,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “I think we can all agree that we don’t want an ecosystem full of applications that are just trying to spread themselves.”

To that end, Facebook announced a series of new incentives for developers to write what it characterized as “meaningful” tools for the service. It said it would pick certain applications that meet a set of Facebook principles to be part of a new “Great Apps” program.

Others are recognizing Facebook’s progress:

Blake Commagere, the developer who created zombie and vampire games for a variety of social networks, said Facebook was simply learning as it goes, like everyone else in an unprecedented Web experiment.

“It’s been a learning process for developers and for Facebook,” he said. “They are breaking new ground, but these guys are sharp. They are going to continue to improve it.”

So, it’s a much humbler and seemingly wiser Zuckerberg. That can only bode well for the future of the platform and the company.

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