At a Microsoft event on Monday, GitHub CEO Nat Friedman called the site “by far the most valuable social network that’s ever been built.”
Currently, over 40 million developers use GitHub to share and contribute to open source projects, and the company is aiming for 100 million by 2025. That’s far behind Facebook or Twitter — but Friedman says that he looks at the definition of “value” differently.
Friedman says that GitHub developers are responsible for the software that powers much of the rest of the internet economy, especially thanks to its status as the center of the open source software world.
“If you look at the positive externalities of the open source and free software that’s been created and the way that it powers every cloud, every device, it’s hard to argue with that,” Friedman says.
Microsoft acquired GitHub for $7.5 billion in 2018.
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GitHub CEO Nat Friedman says that the service, which Microsoft acquired for $7.5 billion in 2018, is “the most valuable social network that’s ever been built.”
Friedman’s comments came at a Microsoft media event on Monday.
At first blush, that claim doesn’t seem to hold water: At last count, GitHub had over 40 million developers registered on the site, which allows users to share and collaborate on their code. That’s a lot, but it’s still dwarfed by Facebook’s 2.45 billion users or Twitter’s 330 million users.
Friedman, however, has a different way of looking at things. To his mind, GitHub’s real value is the fact that it’s the center of the open source community, where programmers create or contribute code to projects that anybody can view, modify, or download for free.
“One of the things I like to say is that as measured by the value it’s created, GitHub is by far the most valuable social network that’s ever been built, right?” Friedman said. “If you look at the positive externalities of the open source and free software that’s been created and the way that it powers every cloud, every device, it’s hard to argue with that.”
Since its acquisition, GitHub has only continued growing in popularity, especially internationally, and said that it’s targeting a goal of 100 million developers by 2025. The company has been allowed to operate largely independently of its parent company Microsoft. At the same time, it has also faced controversy over its work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has sometimes reached Microsoft itself.
In some ways, GitHub is similar to other social networks online, Friedman said. But it differs in the sense that they’re gathered around a specific task: the creation of vital, useful software.
“It’s a website where strangers meet to create something of value and to build something that’s useful in the world,” Friedman said. “They’ve put it into a kind of a global commons, so it’s quite amazing.”
The open source boom
Friedman highlights that members of the open source community don’t always represent an employer; often, they’re just contributing code …read more
Source:: Business Insider