Yesterday, Facebook held a developer’s garage event at their headquarters in Palo Alto. To kick things off, CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the stage to talk a bit about the history of Facebook. Notably, he focused on Facebook Photos as being a key catalyst that led to everything the social network is today.
He noted that when they launched the product, they didn’t have all of the features that their competitors did. For example, they didn’t have high-resolution photos and you couldn’t print them. But one thing they did have was the social element — and this changed everything.
“Those features by themselves were more important than anything else combined,” Zuckerberg said of the social elements of Facebook Photos. He then dropped the competitor bomb. “The photo product that we have is maybe five or six times more used than every other product on the web — combined,” Zuckerberg stated.
Wow. Everyone knows Facebook Photos is huge, but if Zuckerberg’s stats are accurate, it’s becoming YouTube-level huge compared to their competitors. Of course, what he means by “used” isn’t entirely clear — do they just browse more, or upload more as well? Either way, it’s massive.
And it was clear from both Zuckerberg and CTO Bret Taylor’s talk at the event that photos to them was the harbinger of things that eventually came — and will still come.
Taylor noted that he had been “brainwashed by Silicon Valley” before he saw and understood the power of Facebook Photos (he was likely working at Google at the time). He had been thinking like an engineer about the best way to organize photos on the web. But he quickly realized that “the best possible organization of photos is around people,” Taylor said.
“There are ten other industries waiting to have this type of disruption,” Taylor said noting the travel industry, e-commerce, and music as a few of them. Earlier, Zuckerberg agreed. Because of the social element, “every single vertical will be transformed.”