Jimmy Wales Unveils Facebook?

    November 16, 2007

It seems like a sitcom gag in which a character, out of time and ideas, tries to promote an old product as a new one by scratching off a single letter.  Instead, we’ve got Jimmy Wales, and the old/new product is none other than Facebook.

Jimmy Wales Screenshot Maybe this is all a joke; although I’ve never met him, I gather that Wales is a nice and funny guy.  Or maybe his graphics department just pulled a prank.  But at an event in South Africa, Wales showed a screenshot of what is supposed to be a new search engine, and actually looked a heck of a lot like a well-known social network.

On the one hand, well . . . there’s no denying that it’s Facebook with a few different terms and a bit of light green.  On the other . . . we know this layout has the potential to be successful.  And regardless of the design, Wales’s basic idea – people-powered search – remains as good or bad as it was before.

In any event, credit goes to Nic Haralambous for both attending the event in South Africa and taking the hard-to-believe pic.  Matthew Buckland also provided coverage.