Mobile World Congress 2014 – Mark Zuckerberg

published on March 5, 2014 | tagged in:

It’s been an exciting week for those in the mobile industry. Exciting news announced during the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain included Mozilla’s $25 Firefox phone, Nokia goes Android, Samsung’s smart watch and the future of wearable devices, etc. and many others.

One of the highlights of that conference was the keynote address of Mark Zuckerberg regarding WhatsApp and Internet.org. Facebook is the largest communication service existing today, growing from 9 million to 1.2 billion users today and the Facebook CEO’s high profile presence in the Mobile World Congress event signaled the company’s growing influence in the mobile industry.

Coming out in a low-key shirt and jeans getup, Zuckerberg shared his long term vision and very aspirational address that explained the reasons behind several of the recent business decisions and acquisitions his company has made. Here’s what he said during the event.

  • WhatsApp is a great fit for us. It’s on a path to connecting more than a billion people and there are very few services in the world that can reach that level.
  • The vision of internet.org is – the shared goal to help connect everyone in the world.
  • Most people in the world don’t have access to the internet at all. It’s only a third that have access to the internet.
  • The most expensive part of connecting to the internet is not the smartphone. It’s the data connection.
  • After Facebook reached the milestone of helping to connect a billion people, what problem in the world can we try to help solve next?
  • Our vision isn’t to try to connect 1/7 of the world. It’s to try to connect everyone. In order to do that, we need to form these partnerships because no one company can change the way that the internet works by itself
  • Access to the internet means access to: basic services like basic health conditions, education materials, information to bring people out of poverty.
  • Internet.org is a partnership, an industry coalition working together to deliver an efficient internet so that anyone in the world can get access to services for a really affordable price or free for basic services
  • More than 80% of the people in the world live or already live in an area where they have 2G or 3G access. The goal of internet.org is to create an on-ramp to the internet. We want to create a dial tone for the internet.
  • There is a set of basic services that we think should exist: messaging, weather, food prices, basic search, basic social networking, 911 for the internet. These are all text-based, low-bandwidth, cheap to serve and represent a reasonable business proposition. Messaging and social networking are also portals to more content.
  • This is no longer theoretical. In the Philippines – we’ve been working with Globe -we’ve seen the number of people using internet has doubled and Globe subscribers have grown 25%. We’ve partnered with them delivering basic services like Facebook and messaging, and upsells.
  • This gives people a rationale on why they should spend their money on the internet (bundled with their subscriptions).
  • We want to push this to see if this model works.

“I believe in this because this is why I started Facebook – the vision that someday, someone should try to help connect everyone in the world. After reaching a billion users, there’s got to be something bigger. I believe that this is an important thing. Even if I think we’re going to lose money on this for quite a while. If we do something that’s good for the world, then eventually, we’ll find a way to benefit from that in some way. ” – Zuckerberg