Live Q and A from Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook team on today’s new feature launches


Here is a paraphrased Q & A frm today’s live Palo Alto event written in real-time. Most answers are by CEO Mark Zuckerberg with a few other team members supplementing.

Out of the loop? View the new features here: Download Your Data, Apps Dashboard, and Friend Groups.

Or just click to view the Q & A.

Q. Will Friend Groups replace Friend Lists?

A: No. Friend lists will still exist but it’s expected that Friend Groups will be much popular. Old groups will also still exist.

Q: What if people unwanted in a group join?

A: A post notifies the whole group when a new person is invited, and by whom they were invited. So everyone knows who invited who. With full accountability, the Group will be self sufficient.

Q: Will brands be able to utilize Friend Groups?

A: Brands have pages. Friend Groups are designed to be small (less than 100 typically, max 250). Friend Groups are not optimized for brands currently.

Q: What happens if you don’t want to join a Group?

A: You can simply leave and you will be blocked from re-invitations.

Q: How will Friend Groups remain small?

A: We don’t want to limit functionality, but the feature is designed for 25 to 50 people. It’s up to people to keep groups the appropriate size. If it’s your family, keep it to your family, etc.

Q: What will happen with our profiles?

A: Friend Group stuff may be posted on your profiles but not in detail. General status updates will probably decrease as Friend Groups became the main channel for content distribution because it’s personalized.

Q: What if only 5% of people create these Groups?

A: If you create a friend list, nobody else is motivated to do the same. But if 5% of people create Friend Groups, the added social layer will see other users create their own groups because of increased functionality. It’s a lot more fun.

Q: What about information overload?

A: It’s very easy to leave groups and adjust notification settings for groups. You can easily prioritize your groups.

Q: How public will group names be?

A: There are three privacy settings: Open, Closed, and Secret.  No one outside of your group has to see your content or your group name. Or everyone can see your content and group name (but not post content to it unless they’re in it).

Q: How many layers of authentication will be required to Download our files?

A: We’re taking security very seriously. You’ll be sent an email when the file is ready, where you will be asked to confirm your password. Facebook will detect your geo location and your computer to determine whether you are authentic, where it may add additional layers of security. We don’t know how many people will want to use this but for those who do, they should be able to.

Q: Can you easily invite a Friend Group to an event?

A: Yes.

Q: Why are you adding new features as opposed to evolving old features?

A: The new features are based on old features. It’s a new feature but it’s still an iteration. The real question was whether we should delete the old products. But we don’t want to erase people’s hard work in things like old groups and friend’s list. We do want as few features as possible for simplicity’s sake but it’s not really fair to delete old features; they can fade on their own.

Q: Question too dumb to repeat was asked here.

A: Obvious answer followed.


Q: Could other social networks access our data file (that’s now downloadable) with your permission?

A: A million sites are already using Facebook Connect, which more or less performs this operation. But Download Your File can be used for whatever you want. So you could upload it to another social network if you chose.

Q: How do I create Friend Groups named “Family” if there are other groups named “Family”? 

A: There will be lots of groups called Family. There is no technical limitation on  group names but you’ll obviously be able to tell which family is yours. It’s like if you search for somebody and 10 people have that name—you probably know which of them is relevant to you. Email-wise, though, you can only have one email for a group title. It will be first come, first serve, with anti-squatting protections implemented.

Q: When will this all be rolled out?

A: Starts today. Roll-out will be viral and rapid. 100% of users will have access within just a few weeks.

/Event over!