Mark Pincus, CEO of FarmVille
developer Zynga, said at this week's Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco that "Facebook is at a crossroads," according to a VentureBeat report
Answering a question about what he wants from the social network, he said, "[Facebook] has to decide whether it's more important to be the web’s social platform, or to make their social plumbing pervasive."
While Facebook has over 400 million users, Pincus said the network has an opportunity to become much more universal, as he suggested apps could usurp traditional websites if Facebook would focus more on the "plumbing" that would serve as the foundation for app makers like Zynga.
"Where this ought to go is it should be an open Xbox Live for the web," he said. "If we get to this place where there are achievements, a consistent user experience, a way for web publishers and networks and sites to participate, and an easy way for developers to develop amazing game experiences that enhance relationships among people, then I think social gaming can end up being the few real consumer experiences on the web and be a massively large business for all of us."
But he said that Facebook might choose to continue down the narrower path of being a leading social network instead. "They have a more obvious business model around being a portal [supported by ads]," Pincus said. "I hope they find the business model around the plumbing."