Facebook's director of engineering got married in India earlier this year, and his boss Mark Zuckerberg joined him for the wedding, sister and girlfriend in tow. Now pictures of the social networkers are circulating around the subcontinent.
For evidence of India's obsession with Zuckerberg, look to the picture contest under way at Indian website TechGoss.com, which is offering up to 10,000 rupees for the best "human interest" pictures related to tech. The leading entries at the moment would appear to be shots of Zuckerberg and friends at the January wedding of Facebooker Aditya Agarwal. The above photo ran on TechGoss already, the shot below was graciously provided to us by the site's editors and appears for the first time here on Gawker. [Zuckerberg can be seen dancing next to girlfriend and fellow Facebooker Priscilla Chan in the photo.]
[Zuckerberg posing for a pic with Agarwal.]
The TechGoss pictures are yet further evidence of India's growing obsession with Facebook, which has been steadily adding users there over the past year and is finally poised to pass its more successful local rival Orkut, owned by Google.
They also underline Zuckerberg's growing global celebrity. The 26-year-old CEO generates a level of public interest that equals, and often exceeds, that of Hollywood stars. After being the focus of two recent books, Zuckerberg is now being dramatized in a major studio movie about the early days of his social network. The exposure of Zuckerberg's Facebook pictures, first reproduced here, swiftly became an international news story.
It's especially tempting for people to share images of Zuckerberg given the young Turk's repeated incursions on the privacy of hundreds of millions of Facebook users — if only to test Zuckerberg's recent declaration that Facebook "decided these would be the social norms now." Are the old norms, and the old age of privacy, really so extinct? (You might ask Agarwal, whose image appears both in this post and in our paparazzi take on Zuckerberg's daily life yesterday.)
Technology has certainly opened up Zuckerberg's India trip: Even before TechGoss' contest, there were shots of Zuckerberg's wedding antics available via his Facebook friends. These include, via Zuckerberg's Facebook profile, the one immediately below, with sister Randi, far left; girlfriend Priscilla Chan, third from left; and the bride and groom. In the second picture, Chan bears her mehndi ceremonial skin art. (Between his Indian dance, his Mandarin lessons and his Russian investors, is there a major country Zuckerberg hasn't acclimated to? First step: Make friends. Next step: World domination. Facebook über alles!)