Zuckerberg: Google building 'their own little version of Facebook'

The Facebook CEO also said his company's focus is on partnerships, not rivalries, during an interview with PBS' Charlie Rose

While Google officials, from CEO Larry Page on down, are all aflutter over Google+, Mark Zuckerberg views Google's new social networking site as "their own little version of Facebook."

At least that's what he told Charlie Rose in an interview that aired Monday evening on the veteran broadcast journalist's PBS show.

When Rose asked him if Facebook planned to engage in a "flat out" platform war with Google, Apple and Amazon over the next 10 years, Zuckerberg said Facebook views Apple and Amazon more as partners, while acknowledging Google is more of a rival.

"People like to talk about war. There are a lot of ways in which the companies work together. There are real competitions in there, but I don't think this is going to be the type of situation where there's one company that wins all the stuff," he said.

"Google in some ways is more competitive and is certainly trying to build their own little version of Facebook," he added. "When I look at Amazon and Apple, I see companies that are extremely aligned with us. We have a lot of conversations with people at both companies trying to figure out ways in which we can do more together."

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who also participated in the interview, said the company has a "huge partnership strategy" which revolves around providing the social technology to many other media and technology companies.

"We're focused on doing one thing incredibly well. If you look at other companies, all of these companies are doing a lot of different things but we're still, as we grow, doing exactly one thing," she said.

Google launched Google+ in late June as a major initiative designed to give Google a stronger position in the social networking market, as well as provide a tool that unifies Google products by providing them with a social sharing layer and, to an extent, a common identity for Google users.

However, Google+, which has about 40 million members, has a long road ahead to match up against Facebook, which has more than 800 million members, and dominates the social networking market globally.

When asked about an IPO for Facebook, Zuckerberg said that there is definitely a plan to take the company public, mostly to reward its employees and investors, but that no decision has been made on when that will happen.

"We just care deeply about all the employees and the investors who have been there with us," he said.

Zuckerberg also downplayed the role of Facebook and other social media tools in the Arab Spring, saying that the credit for those movements to topple long-standing authoritarian regimes should go to the people who have participated in them.

"Social media's role is maybe a bit overblown in that," he said. "If people want change, then they will find a way to get that change."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited Harvard and MIT and briefly answered questions from reporters Monday.

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