Ashton Kutcher: 'Facebook Is the New Religion,' Twitter Is Too Crowded
Actor and angel investor Ashton Kutcher says he will invest only in companies that have a mobile component. He made the revelation in an interview I hosted on-stage at the CTIA wireless conference.
Kutcher, who has played lead roles in Hollywood films such as "Dude, Where's My Car?," "Just Married," and "What Happens in Vegas," is a backer of some of the world's hottest start-ups, including Square, Uber, AirBNB, and Spotify.
However, Kutcher criticized mobile platforms like Apple's iOS, Android, and Windows for making it too-hard to discover new apps, holding back the industry's growth. And in a bold move, given his audience, he criticized mobile carriers, saying that they should move beyond their focus on cellular plans.
"If Apple wanted to turn on a unified hot spot, I don't think I would need a carrier," he said Thursday.
Kutcher noted that mobile companies are starting to look at peer-to-peer technology, and warned that mobile consumers will start thinking, "I am not getting the experience I want to get, and deserve to get."
Twitter's Noise and Retweet Problem
Kutcher is one of Twitter's most-followed users, with 14.3 million followers. However, he complained that his experience of the service has changed "pretty drastically."
As Twitter has become more popular, traditional media has begun to use it to market content and products. "Companies and people are just pitching crap," said Kutcher. He acknowledged that he used Twitter to promote his own films, and that he planned to cut back on the number of people he follows—currently 700.
Kutcher added that Twitter's "retweet" button is also responsible for some of its "signal-to-noise problem," encouraging people to clog up Twitter feeds without focusing on the quality of content. Twitter has become a sort of RSS feed, Kutcher said, and added that he prefers to read the information available on Twitter via other platforms, like Flipboard, a site that curates your news based on your preferences and social networking accounts. (Kutcher is an investor in Flipboard.)
(Read More: Twitter #TV Will Be Better Than Twitter #Music)
'Facebook is the new religion'
Kutcher saved his most enthusiastic comments for Facebook, which he called the "new religion," saying it created commonality and turned strangers into friends. "It is a deeper trust bond that I have with someone," he said.
He also praised Facebook for its effective placement of advertisements, countering recent concerns that Facebook's use of advertising is turning off users. Instead, Kutcher said he liked the social network more as a result of the adverts, which were "enhancing my experience, which is what good advertising does."
(Read More: Kids Turn to Twitter, Shun Facebook 'Drama')
Kutcher said he does not see a return from investing in digital media, so he is not backing any startups in that space. However, he is carefully watching Netflix and Amazon's investment in original content. He warned that traditional broadcasters will become vulnerable once digital providers start providing preferable content.
_ By CNBC's Julia Boorstin. Follow her on Twitter @JBoorstin.