Facebook held its 2014 f8 developer conference at The Concourse in San Francisco on April 30, 2014. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO gave keynote address at the event along with other management team members of the company. We produce here the full transcript of the event…
Mark Zuckerberg – Founder & CEO, Facebook
Welcome. Welcome. Thanks for coming to F8.
This is going to be a different kind of F8. In the past, we’ve had F8 when we had some kind of big new product announcement or new direction that we were going in. And this always meant a lot of different changes for your apps.
Now we’re focused on building a stable mobile platform. You’re trying to build great mobile apps and businesses and we want to bring this community together once a year to talk about all of the different things that we’re doing to help support you.
Stable Mobile Platform
So we’ve heard from you that you want to use Facebook platform for three main things: to help you build, grow and monetize your apps. You want things like identity and sharing, push notifications, app installs, ad networks, and the best way that we can help you improve people’s lives and help connect the world is by providing you with a stable mobile platform to build, grow and monetize your apps.
So we’re going to help you build with tools like Login which are now used by more than 80% of the top iOS and Android apps. We’re going to help you grow with stable distribution, like the more than one billion app installs that we’ve driven to your apps. And we’re going to help you monetize and build stable businesses, like the more than $3 billion in payments that we’ve helped process for you in the last year alone.
So most of you are building mobile apps. And over the past few years, we’ve made this transition to being a primarily mobile company ourselves. Just a few years back, most of our business and most of our usage was on desktop. But now more than a billion people use all of our mobile apps and more than 20% of all time spent in apps on phones is spent in Facebook apps and the majority of our business is on mobile.
But the thing is it can be annoying to build for mobile because the mobile ecosystem is so siloed. Apple has a vertical platform; Google has a vertical platform. Microsoft has a vertical platform. Then there’s the mobile web and there are others too. And these are all important platforms and they’re each growing.
But the thing is all of these companies are just trying to compete and make their own platforms better and more different from the others. No one has an incentive to help bridge the gaps between these platforms and make it easier to build on any of their competitors’ platforms.
But as a person using a phone, this is terrible. I just want to be able to buy a phone and have all of the apps that I want worked on it. And as developers, of course, we want tools that work across all these different platforms. It’s really annoying when we have to build the same thing three, four, five times just because of these different stacks.
So our goal with Facebook is to build the cross-platform platform and provide all the tools that you need to bridge these different worlds. So we all want identity across platforms and sharing across platforms and push notifications across platforms and app installs and even monetization. And this is what Facebook platform is all about – building the cross-platform tools that you need to build, grow, and monetize your apps everywhere.
Now it’s natural for us to focus on these things because a lot of these tools are the very same things that we’ve needed to build for ourselves in order to help more than a billion people connect across all these different systems.
Now as I said, we’re really focused on building a stable mobile platform. And one thing you may not know is that all of our own mobile apps are built on top of the very same platform and APIs that you guys use when you’re running for Facebook. And all of our engineers use the same tools and read all the same documentation that you do.
So because of this, over the past few years as our apps have grown, the number of requests that our platform handles has grown by 20x. We know handle almost half a trillion requests a day, which is a pretty ridiculous number when you think about it. And the thing is when we’ve scaled, we’ve actually improved performance by more than 40% on average response time and we’ve reduced the already small amount of downtime by more than 70% over the past few years. So it’s really important for you and for all of our teams internally that we build stable and efficient infrastructure that you can rely on for the long term. This has been a really big focus for us.
We used to have this famous mantra: move fast and break things. And the idea here was that as developers, moving quickly is so important that we were even willing to tolerate a few bugs to do it. But what we realized over time was that this actually wasn’t helping us move faster because having to slow down and fix these bugs was slowing us down more than we were actually improving our speed.
So in the recent years, we’ve actually changed our strategy for moving faster. And now what we do is focus on building the best tools and infrastructure in the industry to build on top of it. So move fast with stable infra – it may not have quite the same ring to it, it may not be quite as catchy as move fast and break things. But this is – it helps us build better experiences for all the people that we serve and it’s how we operate now.
So with this theme in mind, I want to start today by going through a few things that we’re doing to make our platform even more stable and reliable for you to build on top to build, grow, and monetize our apps.
Now one problem that we all have is we write apps and we want them to run on lots of different phones, including older platforms. So you want to be able to build something you just know that it’s going to be able to work for a while.
So today for the first time, we’re introducing a two-year stability guarantee for all of our core APIs and platforms, including Login and Sharing. So this means that even if we change this core APIs in the future, we’re guaranteeing that we’re going to keep supporting them as is for at least two years and maybe longer from the time that we make that change.
Now we’re still going to experiment with new features and different things but we’re going to clearly mark those as beta so you know what’s going to be part of this core stable platform.
We’re also introducing API Versioning. So this is something that you know we want to make sure that all the apps that we all wrote two years ago keep working and this is something that we wanted internally as we built on top of this platform. So now every API that we launch is going to be versioned and you’re going to get to decide what version of the API you build against.
We’re also introducing an SLA that we’re committed to fixing all major bugs within 48 hours. And this is something that we’ve always tried to move fast on and the reality is we’re usually even faster than this. But now for the first time we want to put in place a firm commitment that we’re going to be able to fix all these bugs or major bugs within 48 hours.