Mark Zuckerberg Says Facebook Isn’t a ‘Traditional’ Media or Technology Company

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., reacts during a session at the Techonomy 2016 conference in Half Moon Bay, California, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. The annual conference, which brings together leaders in the technology industry, focuses on the centrality of technology to business and social progress and the urgency of embracing the rapid pace of change brought by technology. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., reacts during a session at the Techonomy 2016 conference in Half Moon Bay, California, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. The annual conference, which brings together leaders in the technology industry, focuses on the centrality of technology to business and social progress and the urgency of embracing the rapid pace of change brought by technology. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Is Facebook a media company or a technology company?

For months, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has insisted that it’s the latter despite growing scrutiny of the role it plays in choosing what news people read. On Wednesday, he offered a slightly different take.

Facebook, he said, is not a “traditional” media company or a “traditional” technology company. It’s an important distinction: Wall Street rewards technology companies with much higher price-to-earnings ratios than pure-play media companies.

The remarks came during a Facebook Live video chat with Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg in which they recapped 2016 and discussed what’s in store for 2017.

“Facebook is a new kind of platform,” Zuckerberg said during the video chat. “It’s not a traditional technology company. It’s not a traditional media company. You know, we build technology and we feel responsible for how it’s used. We don’t write the news that people read on the platform, but at the same time we also know that we do a lot more than just distribute the news, and we’re an important part of the public discourse.”

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SOURCE: USA Today, Jessica Guynn