We’re trying to live blog Mark Zuckerberg’s live keynote at the Mobile World Congress, so we’re just going to post information in our not so structured fashion.
If you have good internet, you can watch the Keynote here: http://streaming.mobileworldlive.com
Zuckerberg is talking a lot about what they are doing to push the vision of Internet.org. Says they have partnered mobile operators like Glo and Tigo. As part of this, mobile operators get to offer Facebook free on the network.
Zuckerberg says when operators offer data, people don’t know they want the data. But when operators say they are offering Facebook or WhatsApp people know they want access to these apps. So these are an entry to introducing data to people. When you talk about those specific apps, people rationalise the usage of their money for the internet.
On why they paid $19 billion for WhatsApp, he said “By itself it is worth more than $19 billion. Its not easy to see today because their revenues doesn’t reach that. but they have half a billion users who are all more valuable than just 19 billion.
He’s also excited that because of the vision of Internet.org, WhatsApp and them can leverage by working together
On WhatsApp he also says they will focus on purely on connecting people and not the money. Says if they had not bought WhatsApp, it’s founders would have had to focus on the business model, but now they can focus on building subscribers for the next 5 years.
“That way we are on our way to achieve the internet.org vision”
He says Internet.org is to help carriers get more subscribers and connect more people. It’s up to them what they want to make free and what they want to charge for.
On facebook design, Zuckerberg says “We send people to emerging markets to get a feel of what Facebook feels like there and they always come with interesting stories about things we’re messing up.” This explains thinigs like mbasic.facebook.com
On the internet.org players he said “Not one company can do this by themselves. Internet.org is a coalition of a lot partners and Facebook is just a component. Contributing its own part as the company with the most used app in the world.”
Asked about the NSA spying issue in the US he responded: “The NSA issue is a real issue. Trust is a very important thing when you’re using a service where you are going to share a lof of personal information. The government blew it on this. The government needs to be transparent about the things they do and now they are getting where they should have been years back. This whole thing could have been avoidable. And this would have been a lot better for the internet.”
Asked about the value in the data that they bought WhatsApp for, Zuckerberg says WhatsApp doesn’t store the data that people send each other. Says the delivery of the messages is what they take care of and once data is delivered, it’s deleted from the WhatsApp servers. Says Facebook would be foolish to interfere with that.
image credit: gsma.com