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Zuckerburg to Donate 99% of Facebook Stock

Zuckerburg Blog

For Silicon Valley’s newest generation of billionaires, the biggest trend in innovation is actually something old – giving back. As someone who is no stranger to innovation, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg is at the forefront of the movement. The 31 year old with a net worth of $37.5 billion announced on Tuesday that he and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, will donate 99 percent of their Facebook stock shares throughout the course of their lives. The stocks are currently worth more than $45 billion and will be donated to charitable causes still to be announced, or even still to be created.

According to a recent New York Times article, Zuckerberg’s charitable plans are the latest indication of a growing interest in philanthropy among Silicon Valley’s young billionaires, who unlike previous generations of business tycoons, appear eager to spread their wealth while they are still young.

Zuckerburg and Chan have a new baby girl, Max, who was born just last week. The couple says the pledge to donate the stocks is all about making the world a better place for her generation and those to follow. Publishing an open letter to her, they explain the better life they wish for her to have. The letter explains that they are making the donation because they wish to help advance human potential, promote equality and help create technology to foster change for the future.

“Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges,” writes Zuckerburg. “I will continue to serve as Facebook’s CEO for many, many years to come, but these issues are too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work.”

Many industry leaders are showing support for the donation and aim for change including one of Zuckerburg’s childhood heroes and the wealthiest man in the world, Bill Gates. Mr. Gates and his wife congratulated his efforts releasing a statement.

“The example you’re setting today is an inspiration to us and the world,” they said. “We can be confident of this: Max and every child born today will grow up in a world that is better than the one we know now. As you say, ‘Seeds planted now will grow.’ Your work will bear fruit for many decades to come.”

Zuckerburg believes that by creating and building new, innovative technology will help drive changes to improve education worldwide. The improved technology would then increase literacy rates and decrease poverty levels in these areas.

To learn more read the full New York Times story here:

50% of Consumers Value a Brand’s Facebook Page More Than Its Website

It is apparent more than ever that social media plays an important role in society, even for businesses. A recent article by Mashable announced that 50% of consumers value a brand’s Facebook page more than its website. While websites are commonly created to drive traffic and entice online shoppers, it seems that consumers are also turning to a brand’s Facebook page for information as well.

Possible reasons for this statistic could be that Facebook pages often make a brand seem more reachable and personable. According to the study, 75% of participants feel more connected to a brand on Facebook. Also, Facebook offers businesses an outlet to showcase discounts that reach a large audience.  Mashable reports that as a result of liking a brand on Facebook, 77% have saved money.

Although stores may hang “50% off” and “Final Sale!” signs in their windows for those passing by to notice, the sales world is changing. While in-store sale signs may go unnoticed, with social media, sales as well as other information is available with an easily navigated click of the mouse.

Facebook + Skype = A Match Made in Social Media Heaven?

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook has partnered with Skype to enable video chatting in Facebook’s Chat platform.  Though this partnership of giants should not come as a huge surprise, it is still fun to ponder what this holds for the future of communication.  Facebook has over 750 million users and Skype is extremely popular for across the globe communicating via the Web and is even used by businesses to conduct meetings thousands of miles apart.  Is it possible that in a few short years all the social media utilized every day, from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn to FourSquare, could all join together into one super-site?  It certainly appears that way.  This would make life that much easier and that much more interconnected.

While it remains to be seen how well the Facebook-Skype merge works, and how much users take advantage of it, it’s sure to be a pretty popular addition to the Facebook platform.  One thing is for sure: Facebook seems to be on a quest to prove there’s nothing it cannot do.  Expect this newest merge to affect all areas that social media reaches: advertising, public relations, marketing, business, social interaction, etc.  It’s too early to tell exactly in what ways it will affect those areas, but it should make a pretty big splash.