Graphing Social: Keynote Reid Hoffman

Social networks and platforms discussion started in 2003, when it was around friendster things have changed significantly question […]

Social networks and platforms

  • discussion started in 2003, when it was around friendster
  • things have changed significantly
  • question was “is htis somethign new” or a feature like friendster is just with a feaure of adding friends.
  • temporal history
    • the ability to hack in and add widgets
    • it wasn’t a design feature, it was a flaw in the system, the inability to turn off javascript
    • ning: a different conception– platform for building any kind of social network
    • facebook- first platform with a broad social graph
  • why are social networks platforms?
    • social networks have key data that is useful to use in applications
    • friendster as dating tool
    • despite WoW, most people care about the life they have here
    • enables richness on applicaoitns people care about

note: 10 min in, and he hasn’t mentioned linkedin once!

  • myspace and facebook
    • integrates includes of widgets
    • something like a graph of linages
      • no access to a real state of relationships
      • and no access to key data
      • no platform access
    • no access ot communicatoin or newsfeeds
  • facebook and ning
    • ning:program your own social network
      • control of policy, set up features
    • facebook: build on your massive social graph
      • aquire customers
      • leverage key relationships
      • leverage existing communication scheme
  • facebook and linkedin: different use cases
    • search: on facebook you see their picture and what networks they belong to, linkedin shows a professional bio (controlled by user)
    • answers: very different kinds of questions, facebook are a way to be witty and fun, LI more about knowledge
      • they appear farther into the graph,
      • you get broader answers
      • answers show up on the profile, so questions tend to be longer, better
    • messaging
      • brokerage vs. general sharing
    • where is there interesting overlap
      • public profile presence
      • potential business applications on the social graph
  • will there be one social grpah platform?
    • is htere one social graph? is there one graph that can handle multiple relationship types?
  • Reid thinks there will be multiple graphs
    • multiple social graphs, the semantics of the connection
      • odd population of graphs, such as 1out of ever 7 people in brazil are on orkut
    • one graph that includes all the relationships is a blogger dream, too much overhead and a tech vision not a human one
    • it may be important to have different rules for different relationships: freinds, professional, family, religeous…
  • a massive platform does not require the truth of one graph

facebook platform possibilities

  • currently many communication tools
    • i,e, many walls, many variations of poking, many gifts, mail
  • games
    • comparing people (how well do you know yoru friends, who’s a movie star)
  • music and movies

futre possibilities

  • iterations off current use cases
  • interesting to see how friending aps work
  • honesty box

what’s new?

  • theory of platforms is enable tons of creativity
  • 90% of everything is crap
  • then, what other aps might be useful in 1:1, 1:X
  • are there limits to how many aps a user will have?
    • rising above the noise
    • why facebook has changed to metric of active users rather than installed
    • how do you create something sustainable, monetizable
  • areas that haven’t worked so far
    • business
    • politics
    • money
  • the challenge of the second act (.e. jibjab, 1st act only)


  • today, parallels to the internet gold rush
    • CPI installs
    • run of site ad inventory
    • ad network agregation
  • challenges today (much built on hope)
    • interuptive advertising
    • incented installations
  • future possibilities
    • target ads
    • virtual currencies
  • platform innovation?
    • developers – will care a lot about having economics evolve
    • facebook – need to have sustainable businesses on it
  • what will be the case
    • low cost aps with sufficiant sustaining appeal
    • applications that fit the facebook use case
    • evolution of key use cases dang he’s obsessed with use cases
  • what is still up in the air
    • establishment of substantially new use cases
    • major applications
  • massive competition a la the web
    • someone will try to give away something you charge for
    • at least three people will copy anything that works
    • competition from companies and individuals

facebook and the web

  • new patterns of email and communication
  • new cycle of communication: the genius of facebooks photosharing
    • tagging is open to anyone, so you can be tagged as being on a photo you didn’t take, and your friends will be updated
    • success in many to many power like this
  • look forward to application the replicate that genius
  • future of discovery on the web?
  • discover through friends
  • certainly discovery of people’s social lives
  • applicaitons and ht epaltform
    • can one website be everything? (remember when AOl tried ot be the web)


many interesting new entrepreneurs out of college will build on facebook
interesting ecosystem between websites and facebook applications

  • ilike, flixter
  • websites establishing their position, i.e. yahoo hiring rockyou for Ymusic

economics will be a real issue- keep costs low!
constant newness will be important for entertainment

note: all paraphrased! I’m not a transcriber…

Q: why no linkedin facebook ap to merge our informaiton? Also craigs list – fear, or lack of interest?
R: we have a lightweight one, that has almost no traction like most biz aps, but their bumpersticker aps does have it because its a social ap. The question is degree of interest. for example, no one wants search bars that aren’t Y or G. You can’t just build whatever and it’ll work. it’s ROI. rules: big companies can only two or three things a year, and that’s true for small companies, and it provides niches for startups.
We will do something if it proves useful to our goal of making people’s business lives better.

Q: no idea, confusing
R: in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. in theory there will be social commerce, and it’ll be social sharing. But people change, markets change, so … water tends ot flow wher eit most easily goes, and hte interesting popular aps follow walls, poking, etc… you’ll likely see more of that. However, there could be a interesting game that bridges that gap. Thus far it’s a long time

Q: I’m curious about yrou unique postion as an angel invester and helpign companies move throughthis unique space. Should some companies focus on facebook vs web presence
R: I’m a bit nerveous about the aps on their today will get to the depth that will lead to VC– that’s a 1M company, meanging facebook AND web. there will be angel things that will ge tfinanced and get traction. VC general partners will do 3 things a year, so they want big returns. so generally thinking is web, but some folks will gamble since thats part of VC. in the valley some gamble because that’s how hte game works, but for VC my advice is web still.

1 Comment

Add Yours

Comments are closed.