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Meet the Man Who Fills Your News Feed: Facebook Product Boss Chris Cox (Video)

Here's the full video from last week's spotlight interview at Code/Media.

Asa Mathat
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Facebook has 1.4 billion users. Meet the guy who helps determine what those folks see when they visit: Chris Cox, the social network’s head of product.

We brought Cox onstage for a spotlight interview at Code/Media last week because the decisions he makes at Facebook have enormous impact for just about everyone who publishes things on the Web.

Cox is in charge of Facebook’s News Feed, the central “river” of photos, updates and links to stuff on other sites. And since Facebook has replaced Google as most publishers’ most important traffic source, Cox is a key gatekeeper.

He rejects that notion, by the way. Which I think is one of the reasons this interview was a bit strained: Cox thinks the idea that Facebook executives pull levers that determine what people see on the site — and what kind of traffic publishers get — is simplistic. As you’ll see, we keep coming back to that idea, without much resolution.

Regardless, Cox’s team is talking to publishers about hosting their stuff directly on Facebook, which he says could provide a better “container” for stuff than what most mobile websites offer.

That could be a very, very big deal if it moves forward, and while Cox says those discussions are in the early stages, this was the first time Facebook has acknowledged the idea in public. Which I assume means they think they are making some headway.

Oh! And Cox is also heading up Facebook’s push into video, which has gone from next-to-nothing to a potential YouTube rival, almost overnight. So we spent time talking about his ambitions there, as well. We had a lot to cover!

You can see for yourself here:

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