Mark Zuckerberg Caught Off Guard by Popular Facebook Games

In an interview with Inside Facebook today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reflected on the past couple of years and how the social network’s platform has grown. Interviewer Justin Smith dug in for some insight specifically on the gaming industry, and how it’s affected (and been affected) by rapid and viral adoption on Facebook. Zuckerberg mentioned that the popularity of games on Facebook not only surprised him, but presented some challenges as well.

One challenge with game popularity on Facebook is the preferences of individual users, in seeing marketing around those games as well as content (news feed updates about Sally’s Farmville). When it comes to Facebook, marketing and content-sharing go hand-in-hand. So it’s an understandably noteworthy obstacle for Zuckerberg to course, especially given the demand around Facebook and its desire to become central to all your social interactions.

But what other industries are being disrupted by social media, and what should CEOs look out for in the coming months? We’ve seen what social media and the web have done for music, television and film. We’ve even seen the destructive nature of social media when it comes to the print industry. But there are some additional points to ponder.

Enterprise has been trying to figure out how it fits into social media for years now, and the parameters change at every turn. The work industry has had to deal with social networks disrupting in-office behavior, as well as creating a business culture around off-site team building. For a CEO, it’s still necessary to burn both ends of this candle, as social media will become more central to running an efficient and productive office. Just try to balance all of that with the imminent distractions social media offers your employees (see here for some actual ideas).

From the rising popularity of Gilt to the social media leveraging of fashion industry marketing, this is one area that is getting to be red hot. There are several other niche markets that are undergoing (or anticipating) social media disruption, including specific areas of the print industry that haven’t already been affected.

Most important is the mobile industry, which has seen a great deal of growth thanks to consumer-ready smart phones. The economy around producing specific and consumer-driven content around the growing mobile app market has been largely centralized around social interactions, whether that’s through Facebook mobile uploads or location-based updates and friend-stalking tracking.

For a CEO looking to maneuver all of these social media disruptions, it’s important to look at their point of convergence. No matter what your industry is, it can be affected by social media mechanisms, whether that means better communication tools for your own employees, marketing outreach or research. Niche industries can grow their brands by looking to social media for direct access to their target consumers, utilizing network and mobile apps in order to provide a specific service.

Social media has offered us the ability to make nearly anything and everything accessible instantaneously, whether it’s information (directions, recommendations, price comparisons) or a purchase. Transcending barriers between the real and virtual environments is the next major thing to be conquered by social media, and businesses are at the heart of that battle.