Facebook is the new religion, Ashton Kutcher says

Internet social interactions create stronger bonds of trust, the star and venture investor says

Ashton Kutcher was interviewed by CNBC reporter Julia Boorstin in a keynote session on the final day of CTIA Wireless.

Ashton Kutcher was interviewed by CNBC reporter Julia Boorstin in a keynote session on the final day of CTIA Wireless.

Internet communities are more trustworthy than some big corporations, but mobile is proving a hard nut to crack even for the best of them, actor and venture capitalist Ashton Kutcher told CTIA Wireless Thursday.

"Facebook is the new religion," Kutcher said. "It's a deeper trust bond that I have with someone." Mass religions rose along with large cities and became a way for people to trust neighbors they didn't know, Kutcher said. Facebook creates trust by turning strangers into "friends of friends," Kutcher said.

The same principle applies to online housing exchange Airbnb, which Kutcher said he was skeptical about at first but finally invested in. Having a friend vouch for someone or having other consumers give them good ratings online has proved as safe or safer than trusting corporate services, Kutcher said.

"We've had less crime in Airbnb than the hotels around the world, by far," Kutcher said. It was one of numerous times Kutcher mentioned companies in which he has a stake. His list of venture investments includes Spotify, Foursquare, Flipboard and Dwolla.

But the early and well-known Twitter user said that service isn't what it once was, a forum for personal communication.

"The media kind of f----ed it up," Kutcher said. "Companies and people just constantly pitching crap." He also blamed the Retweet button, which made it too easy for users to multiply posts from others. Both developments have changed the "signal-to-noise ratio" and made it harder to use Twitter, he said.

Kutcher, who has 14.3 million followers on Twitter, admits he won't hesitate to promote an upcoming movie through social media. "I'm just as guilty as everyone," he said.

The biggest challenge for mobile apps and services is the speed of transferring data, Kutcher said. The complexity of having to leave one app for another or download an app just to see something a friend brings to your attention are also problems. "I don't think anybody's mastered mobile," he said.

Cellular carriers themselves may be in trouble if they don't get a foothold in Wi-Fi and Internet calling, Kutcher said. Traveling in Europe and Israel recently, he was startled by text messages updating him on how much cellular roaming was costing him. Kutcher found himself waiting until he got in range of a Wi-Fi network and using Internet Protocol voice and messaging services. He thinks mobile operators should buy companies like Skype or risk consumers taking an end run around them.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags ctiatwittermobileentertainment

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?