Zuckerberg 35th Richest Person in America, and Facebook Credits/Phones Just Getting Started
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reached number 35 on the Forbes 400 List of Wealthiest Americans. Forbes has him estimated at $6.9 billion, ahead of even Steve Jobs, who is valued at $6.1 billion.
Steve Bertoni at Forbes writes, "While the new wealth rankings mean little more than Silicon Valley bragging rights, the two tycoons might soon be trespassing on each other’s business turf. On September 1st, Apple entered the social network fray with its new music app, Ping. Facebook is rumored to be developing its own phone to go up against Apple’s uber-popular iPhone. It’s speculated that the Facebook phone will run on Google’s Android operating system, currently offered by Verizon (Apple has a deal with rival AT&T)."
About Facebook and phones, Zuckerberg, while not getting too specific about actual deals with manufacturers and carriers, gave an overview of the company’s mobile strategy in an interview with TechCrunch. Essentially, the goal is for Facebook to have "deep" integration on every device – not just the standard apps. He did say Facebook’s goal for mobile is more horizontal than vertical – breadth over depth. Bloomberg is talking about a specific device the company is working on with INQ for AT&T.
According to a New York Times article, citing information from Inside Network, the market for Facebook Credits is expected to reach $835 million this year, and it’s really just getting started. As the article points out, Credits could one day extend beyond just apps on Facebook itself, just as Facebook has extended itself across the web. You can sign into many sites with your Facebook account. Why not pay with it? That’s just speculation at this point, but the possibility seems very real.
MG Siegler at TechCrunch points to a quote on Quora from Facebook’s Paul Buchheit, who was one of the key people behind the creation of Gmail, as well as working on AdWords and AdSense, while at Google. He said, "I believe many people were (and still are) significantly undervaluing Facebook equity. It has the potential to be worth more than Google."
The Wall Street Journal says Zuckerberg will donate up to $100 million to Newark schools this week, in what the publication calls "a bold bid to improve one of the country’s worst performing public school systems. Zuckerberg is reportedly setting up a foundation with $100 million of Facebook stock.