If the sudden resignation of Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger was not enough to turn it into a tense and imposing week at Facebook headquarters, a new interview Forbes with WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton is not going to help much. In the interview, Acton criticized Facebook's monetization strategy for the application that he and Jan Koum sold to the company for $ 16 billion. He also seemed to express a sense of guilt for having been part of the deal that made him extremely wealthy, saying that "I sold the privacy of my users for a greater benefit." I made a choice and a commitment. And I live with that every day. "Acton left Facebook a year before his final batch of stock options acquired a decision that eventually cost him $ 800 million north.
The interview has caused one of the High-level Facebook executives, David Marcus, respond publicly.Marcus directed Facebook's Messenger division for years before shifting his focus to the efforts related to the company's blockchain.In a publication entitled "The other side of the story, "said the interview Forbes " contained statements and memories of events that differ greatly from the reality I witnessed first-hand. "
According to Marcus, Zuckerberg went to bat for WhatsApp and its founders on numerous occasions. "The founders of WhatsApp requested a completely different office design when His team moved to the campus, "he wrote, saying those questions included" much larger desktops and personal space, a policy of not talking loudly in space and conference rooms not available to nearby Facebook peers. This irritated people on Facebook, but Mark personally supported and defended it. "
After being convinced by Koum of its vital importance, Zuckerberg was determined to support and defend the encryption of WhatsApp, says Marcus. that moment, it was never questioned. "Zuckerberg believed that" WhatsApp was a private messaging application, and encryption helped to ensure that people's messages were truly private. "The article in Forbes mentions that Facebook managers "yes question and" test "ways to provide companies with analytical information about WhatsApp users in an encrypted environment."
Marcus also accused Acton of "playing slow" the implementation of a feature that would allow companies send messages to WhatsApp users and, finally, help with monetization. "If you have internal questions about it, then work hard to demonstrate that your approach has Ne legs and shows the value. Do not be passive-aggressive about it. "(In the interview, Acton said he never agreed with Facebook's plans for targeted advertising on WhatsApp." They are entrepreneurs, they are good entrepreneurs.) They represent a set of business practices, principles and ethics, and policies that I do not necessarily agree with, "he said.)
But the head of the Facebook chain saved his toughest words for the end, tearing Acton by the negative feeling towards the company. "I find attacking the people and the company that made you a billionaire, and I reached an unprecedented level to protect you and accommodate you for years, low class. Actually, it's a new low-class standard. "To close, there's a lot of praise about how great Facebook is:
Facebook is truly the only company that specializes in people. It's not about delivering products with less friction, not to entertain you, it's not about helping you find information, it's just people, sometimes it's difficult because people do not always behave predictably (the algorithms do), but it's worth it. Sorry, because connecting people is a noble mission, and bad is far superior to good.
Marcus points out that nobody on Facebook asked him to create the defense of Zuckerberg and his company. "I just had to do it. And these are my personal views exclusively. "