Breaking Up Facebook Would Handicap Efforts to Fix Platform, Execs Say

Facebook - Adam Mosseri
MJ Photos/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

The lead execs at Facebook’s Instagram app and VR/AR efforts believe breaking up Facebook wouldn’t do much good.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri and Facebook VR/AR VP Andrew Bosworth appeared Monday in a joint Q&A at the Code Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., where they addressed the speculation that their company could face regulatory pressure to be split into several smaller organizations.

“It’s a terrible idea,” said Mosseri. “If you’re trying to solve issues like election integrity, hate speech, it would make it exponentially more difficult to keep people safe.”

Mosseri, who has been with the company since 2008, acknowledged that Facebook was slow to confront problems with the platform. “We were very focused on the good,” he said. “We were not sufficiently focused on the bad. Social media is a great amplifier, whether it’s a good issue or a bad issue. We need to do more to nurture the good and address the bad.”

In other Facebook news, Bosworth shared that new iterations of Facebook’s video-chat hardware, Portal, would be arriving in the fall, though he didn’t specify what form factors the new products would take. He also highlighted the fact that in the two weeks since Oculus Quest was launched, Facebook has rung up $5 million in content sales, which he deemed an encouraging sign.

“This $5 million number is a big deal because we’re on the path of this becoming a self-containing ecosystem,” said Bosworth.