The heart of tech is coming to the heart of the Mediterranean. Join TNW in València this March 🇪🇸

This article was published on September 12, 2013

“Build, Grow, Monetize”: Facebook’s Zuckerberg on the mission to connect the next 5 billion people

“Build, Grow, Monetize”: Facebook’s Zuckerberg on the mission to connect the next 5 billion people

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that it’s been an “interesting year” and spoke about the company’s focus now that it’s publicly-owned and where it can better connect everyone in the world.

Zuckerberg says that his job is to help Facebook focus on things that matter. For the company, it’s singularly focused on the mission to connect everyone in the world and has been the main focus since its founding back in Harvard. Back in the day, the goal was to get there to be 1 billion users. But now that the milestone has been achieved, Facebook is going to refocus itself to connect the next 5 billion around the world.

To that, for the next five to ten years, Zuckerberg says that Facebook is taking on a roadmap to help build out the knowledge economy, looking to take on Google and LinkedIn, mentioning things like using social tools for a variety of things, such as helping people get jobs, which it already started to roll out as it’s testing professional skills on profiles.

On the subject of Facebook’s “quirky” IPO, Zuckerberg joked that he was the last person to talk about it. He wasn’t entirely comfortable with doing it, but heaped praise on Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman’s team on leading it to the day. Zuckerberg doesn’t see a need for companies to go that route, but now that he’s done it, he’s surprised at the company’s performance and growth.

With respect to platform, Facebook’s CEO jokingly says that it’s not possible to get everyone to use the social network. However, the company’s platform is still moving towards helping build a better ecosystem, specifically as it relates to three themes: build, grow, and monetize. On the build side, it’s focusing on the identity and helping developers build apps with services like Parse, who is now powering 100,000 apps. With grow, Facebook has been a way to help increase app discovery and promotion with mobile app install ads. Lastly, as it relates to monetize, Facebook is helping app developers generate revenue.

This is the second consecutive appearance by Zuckerberg at TechCrunch Disrupt, the first time being right after the company went public. Since then, the company has been on a tear bolstering its mobile offering and is now seeing more usage on the social network than on desktop. In its Q2 2013 earnings, Facebook revealed that it had more than 819 million monthly mobile active users.

Zuckerberg says that Facebook is working with carriers and other companies to help better connect the world by making the Internet more accessible, referencing his bold initiative to support the claim that connectivity is a human right. He suggests that data that is on your phone or your mobile device is the most important thing, not the actual device.

Interestingly, for the past year, Facebook’s stock has remained under its IPO price, but over the past few weeks, it has inched back up, gradually helping investors earn back their money. It’s stock received a boost following Zuckerberg’s last appearance at the Disrupt conference where he said that HTML5 was one of the company’s biggest mistakes it made when going after mobile.

Since that appearance, the social network company has launched Home, an Android-based layer for mobile devices that is geared towards putting the people ahead of apps. It was bundled with the HTC First and other phones before finding part of its components, such as Chat Heads and Cover Feed, branching off to its iOS and Android apps.

Photo credit: Max Morse/Getty Images

Back to top