This afternoon, Facebook users got a chance to interrogate Mark Zuckerberg about the company's future. Well over 10,000 questions were submitted before the Q&A, many thoughtful, some pressing. So of course he answered the goofy ones.
Zuckerberg was engaged and charming during the session. He (kind of) addressed why Facebook made people install Messenger, and fielded questions about organic reach and algorithmic filtering. But mostly he answered his fair share of softballs. Softballs made of marshmallow and lobbed in slow-motion.
He indulged a delightful tie-dye wearing Utah woman with a detailed reflection on how his life differed from the plot of The Social Network. Real Zuck does not care for Appletinis. Real Zuck has not met Aaron Sorkin. Real Zuck does not want to make Facebook "cool." Real Zuck thinks his habit of wearing casual garb puts him in the same company as Steve Jobs and Barack Obama.
But a lot of good questions went unanswered. Here are five of the best that Real Zuck ignrored as he clarified his preferences when it comes to alcoholic drinks:
Why did Facebook accept the government's deal regarding disclosing surveillance requests and did not decide to keep pushing for more transparency like Twitter is doing (even going to court?) - Lorenzo Franceschi Bicchierai
Bicchierai is a Mashable reporter and he knows how to ask a question. Mark Zuckerberg has come out against the current surveillance system in the past, calling the U.S. government a threat to the Internet in a blog post. Yet Facebook hasn't been bullish about fighting government surveillance requests. What gives?
Why can't the news feed on mobile app stay as 'most recent'? it always switched back to top stories. If I wanted that i would select it. - Malcolm Russell
Seriously. WHY? Explain yourself Facebook.
A lot of journalists I know are concerned about Facebook's outsized weight in the media world — in terms of traffic that comes from it. Do you think you should hire more journalists to make sure you're still a simple conduit rather than a gatekeeper? - Lorenzo Franceschi Bicchierai
Mark Zuckerberg stated again in this Q&A that he wants Facebook to operate as a news source, and it already is; media can rise and fall based on how well it performs on Facebook. Facebook can sway how news is made and how we read it, and that means it can sway public opinion. How Facebook plans to handle that influence is something Zuckerberg should address.
When Facebook will have a solid and useful internal search engine? - Giambattista Scivoletto
Facebook's Graph Search is an unholy mess. It is almost unbelievable how difficult it is to search Facebook, and hearing Zuckerberg explain why the company has whiffed so hard on search would be fascinating.
When was the last time you used Slingshot? - Ashley "Gizmodo" Feinberg
It would be interesting to know what Zuckerberg thought about the concept and execution of one of the company's least popular apps. Hearing him discuss a failed app candidly would illuminate how Facebook responds to missteps. But instead, some opinions on t-shirts
There were so many questions (and a lot of them, frankly, were terrible) that I probably missed a bunch of other good ones. What do you wish Zuckerberg would have answered today?
Screenshot via Facebook