Whenever a company starts completely changing (or creating) an industry and massively capitalizes on that, people start talking. Press & media starts following its every step to see if they could get some drama (and traffic, therefore revenue) out of that.
But here’s my take on it: Facebook will make $1 billion this year, and they’ll probably IPO in 2012. Right now, investors trust Zuck and his team and users need Facebook enough to be willing to go through the roller coaster together with the company. And Zuck knows that.
Think about the following scenario: Mark Zuckerberg’s IM message is discovered after their IPO. What happens to the stock? It goes down. Or, Facebook changes their privacy policies and makes tons of changes that users hate. What happens to the stock? It goes down. Or… well, you get the point.
Facebook has two more years to bang its head on the wall and try everything possible without that affecting their ‘market cap’. Once they float, they will have to be 100 times more careful. So it makes sense for them to try it and then ask for forgiveness. And Zuck’s doing just that.