Facebook tycoon tips TV, books and news to go social

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Books, television shows and news will be the next subjects to become the focus of social networking, the founder of Facebook believes.

Mark Zuckerberg said they would be transformed into "media experiences" in much the same way as computer games already were on the website.

He told the e-G8 Internet Forum in Paris yesterday that because products such as television and films were watched or talked about among friends, they were obvious contenders for the next generation of social networking. "Listening to music is something people do with their friends," said Mr Zuckerberg. "Movies, TV, news, books – those types of things are things I think people just naturally do with their friends. I hope we can play a part in enabling those new companies to get built, and companies that are out there producing this great content to become more social."

However, he downplayed the role Facebook played in the Arab Spring that saw the governments of Tunisia and Egypt fall, a civil war start in Libya and widespread repression in countries such as Bahrain and Syria.

Millions of people used networking sites, particularly Facebook and Twitter, to communicate during the protests. Demonstrations were organised through them and repression was reported and discussed on them.

Mr Zuckerberg, pictured, told the audience: "It's not a Facebook thing, it's an internet thing. I think Facebook was neither necessary nor sufficient for any of those things to happen. If it weren't Facebook, it would be something else."

He also dismissed suggestions that Facebook planned to open up the network to children under 13, saying: "Some time in the future I think it makes sense to explore that, but we're not working on it right now."

Of reports that Facebook was to float on the stock market with an initial public offering, he said: "Not yet."

Tony Wang, Twitter's general manager for Europe, also spoke at the forum. He said the micro-blogging website might be prepared to hand over the names of users who revealed that Ryan Giggs was the footballer alleged to have had an affair with Imogen Thomas, but whose name was protected by a super-injunction.

"Gossip" on social networking sites has seriously hampered a major murder investigation, a police officer claimed yesterday. Detective Chief Inspector Jes Fry of Norfolk Police said rumours on Twitter during the investigation of Michael Tucker, 50, who was this week jailed for murdering partner Rebecca Thorpe, made it difficult to establish whether witnesses were repeating online stories.

He said: "I would just ask that people think twice about what they actually know and what is speculation."