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Zuckerberg: Here's Why Facebook Forced You to Download Messenger

Zuckerberg explains the recent app split and where "The Social Network" got it wrong.


What does the general public want to know most about Facebook? What the heck happened with that obnoxious Messenger split?!

Mark Zuckerberg hosted a public Q&A for the first time Thursday, taking questions from Facebook users as well as community members from the areas around the company’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. The first question on the docket, and the most popular question posted online, pertained to Facebook’s decision a few months back to require users to download its standalone messaging app, Messenger, in order to send and receive messages through Facebook on mobile.

So, Mr. Zuckerberg, why did you force us to install Messenger?

Facebook has big plans for messaging, and a product built within the flagship app didn’t give Facebook the flexibility it needs to build out new features, Zuckerberg explained. The top messaging apps on the market focus on messaging alone, he added — not social networking or a News Feed, which the Facebook flagship app features.

"Messaging is one of the few things that people actually do more than social networking," he said. "If we wanted to focus on really serving this [use case] well, we had to build a dedicated and focused experience."

Zuckerberg also fielded a question about "The Social Network," Hollywood’s 2010 rendition of Facebook’s founding story. "I kinda tried to block that one out," he laughed. "It was a very interesting experience to watch a movie that was supposed to be about my life."

While Zuckerberg says the story got some of the minor details right, things like the design of Facebook’s office, he was disappointed with the movie’s accuracy. "They just kind of made up a bunch of stuff that I found kind of hurtful," he said.

Included in the fiction was the notion that Zuckerberg started Facebook to get girls. Zuckerberg says he was dating Priscilla Chan, now his wife, before he ever created Facebook. "If somehow I was trying to create Facebook to find more women, that probably would not have gone over too well in my relationship," he joked.

He did try and have fun with the movie. When "The Social Network" debuted, he took the whole company to see it in theaters.

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