Remember when the Facebook news channel was full of apps like Zynga’s FarmVille? That era, in the early 2010s, was Mark Zuckerberg’s first big attempt to make Facebook much bigger than a social network and more like a Windows-like developer platform.
It was a period of training for the Internet, when mobile phones and the application economy had just taken off. For Facebook, it was the “Move fast and break things” era, an early motto of the company, when it reached hundreds of millions of users and made decisions that still haunt it to this day. What did Zuckerberg do well in that period that established Facebook for the domain, and what went wrong along the way?
This is a joke of what you can expect in the second episode of the new season of Land of the Giants, the award-winning Vox Media Podcast Network series of narrative podcasts about the most influential technology companies of our time. This season, Recode and The Verge to own came together over seven episodes to tell the story of Facebook’s journey to becoming Meta, with interviews with current and former executives.
Our first episode, about the creation of News Feed, told the story of Zuckerberg’s original vision for social media. The second episode discusses the consequences of pursuing this vision at full speed. We explain how the era that brought us FarmVille and “Sign in with Facebook” would lead the company to one of its biggest scandals: Cambridge Analytica.
The second episode of Land of the Giants: The Disruption of Facebook / Meta is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.