Techcrunch recently interviewed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg about the company’s plans to enter the mobile space. An interesting point came up in the conversation about how companies think about social. (Quick aside: we used to call it social networking, then social media, now it’s just social :P)
Here’s a quote from Zuckerberg:
One thing that I think is really important â€” that I think is context for this, is that I generally think that most other companies now are undervaluing how important social integration is. Right, so even the companies that are starting to come around to thinking, â€˜oh maybe we should do some social stuffâ€™, I still think a lot of them are only thinking about it on a surface layer, where itâ€™s like â€œOK, I have my product, maybe Iâ€™ll add two or three social features and weâ€™ll check that boxâ€. Thatâ€™s not what social is. Social is. You have to design it in from the ground up. These experiences like what Zynga is doing or what a company like Quora is doing, I think that they have just a really good social integration.Â They’veÂ designed their whole product around the idea that your friends will be here with you. Everyone has a real identity for themselves. And those are fundamental building blocks. Now, I donâ€™t know how long itâ€™s going to take to get the mobile environments that you see today to a state where you can build really robust social applications on top of it. So thatâ€™s the biggest driving force for us â€” to try to work with these folks and see how deep we can get on our own to make sure that we can build that plumbing. Our goal is to make it exist.
The key take (away in case you missed my obvious bold of the lines above 😀 ) is that if you’re building something today, whether it be a new website, consumer driven software, or heck – even thinking about building a company in 2010, you need to be thinking about building it from the ground up as a social site/piece of software/product/service/enterprise.
It’s not good enough anymore to strap a social layer on to what you’re already doing. Building social in is as important as having a name, number, and a website address. It’s got to be baked right in.