Home » Mark Zuckerberg Keynote at MWC 2014 Transcript (Full)

Mark Zuckerberg Keynote at MWC 2014 Transcript (Full)

Mobile World Congress 2014 or MWC 2014 was held in Barcelona this year from February 24-27, 2014.  Below is the full transcript of the keynote appearance of the Facebook, Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg where he shared his vision for a connected planet through his Internet.org umbrella platform. 

David Kirkpatrick – Founder and CEO of Techonomy

Hello. I’m David Kirkpatrick. I run something called the Techonomy conference which is a place where technology leaders come together with business and government leaders to talk about how technology is changing everything. Conference happens in November, South of San Francisco.

Now I met Mark Zuckerberg in 2006 when he was 22 years old, and Facebook had 9 million users. I was so impressed with him from that very first meeting and impressed with his long-term vision and the scope of his thinking. But I ended up writing a book called The Facebook Effect, which by the way is published in both Spanish and [Calawan] and now Facebook has 1.2 billion users. So from September of 2006 9 million, today 1.2 billion.

It’s the largest communication service of any type of which ever existed. There is one movie that portrayed Mark as an anxious, angry and vindictive person. But that is not the way I have ever found him. In fact, it’s actually his sincerity and his earnestness that most impresses me. He thinks a lot about how his company is changing the world for the better and I think when you hear him talk, you’re going to understand what I mean.

So Mark, please come out and join me.

Okay. Mark, so clearly there is one topic that we have to start with, it’s been on everybody’s lips for the last week or so. You bought WhatsApp for $19 billion which all of us, [once we got over, our shock is that] some of us feel like we understand it but tell us here at the Mobile World Congress which is really the world’s major gathering of mobile communications, which is an industry that WhatsApp is a big part of, why did you do it and what does it mean?

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Mark Zuckerberg – Founder, Facebook

WhatsApp is a great company and it’s a great fit for us. Already almost half a billion people love using WhatsApp for messaging and it’s the most engaging app that we’ve ever seen exist on mobile by far. About 70% of people who use WhatsApp use it every day, which kind of blows away everything else that’s out there.

What we see is that WhatsApp is on a path to connecting more than a billion people and there are very few services in the world that can reach that level and they are all incredibly valuable. So we he had the opportunity to be a part of this journey, I was really just excited to take you up on that and to help him realize his dream of connecting a lot more people.

David Kirkpatrick – Founder and CEO of Techonomy

Jan Koum was the CEO of WhatsApp?

Mark Zuckerberg – Founder, Facebook

Yes, exactly. In terms of fit for Facebook, when Jan Koum and I first met and started talking about this, we really started talking about what it was going to be like to connect everyone in the world, right? And a lot of – this is the vision for internet.org and that’s what I really want to take the time to focus on today. And it wasn’t really until we got aligned on that vision between Facebook and WhatsApp that we actually started talking about numbers and decided to make a deal. But it’s that vision that I think makes the company such a great fit and it’s the shared kind of goal to help connect everyone in the world.

And today what I really want to focus on is Internet.org and how we can build this model for this industry that can deliver the internet to, 5, 6, ultimately, everyone in the world and in doing so, build what is going to be a profitable model – a more profitable model with more subscribers for carriers and get everybody on the internet in a much shorter period of time and hopefully that video that you were showing upfront said that we were going to [protect] another billion people by 2020. I hope we can do a lot better than that.

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David Kirkpatrick – Founder and CEO of Techonomy

Well, yes, I know you were planning to come here long before you bought WhatsApp but what you’re saying is the thing that toured you away from the geeks you most love to hang out with in Silicon Valley was this Internet.org vision. So tell us why is Internet.org so important to Facebook and what does it mean to the audience at Mobile World Congress? What led you to do it and why are you here to talk about it?

Mark Zuckerberg – Founder, Facebook

Well, one thing that I think it’s easy to take for granted is that most people in the world don’t have access to the internet at all. It’s only about a third of people have any access to the internet. It’s about 2.7 billion people today and it’s actually growing way slower than you would imagine. People often talk about how there are 5 billion phones in the world and that’s pretty quickly transitioning, that in 5 or 10 years most of those will be upgraded to smartphones and that kind of carries this implicit assumption that as that happens, people are going to have access to the internet.

But that’s actually just not true. The most expensive part about owning a smartphone and being connected to the internet isn’t the smartphone, it’s the data connection. If you’re owning an iPhone for 2 years costs about $2000 in the US and about $500 of that is the phone and $1500 is the data plan. So we’re really not on a path to connect everyone unless something pretty dramatic changes and that’s something that after Facebook reached its milestone of helping to connect 1 billion people we took a step back, and like what problem in the world can we try to help solve next and you know we didn’t come here to — our vision isn’t to try to connect one-seventh of the world, it’s to try to connect everyone and 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.

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So it’s a really important problem, right? The reason that I care about it is it’s not that connectivity by itself, is an end in itself, it’s the things the conductivity brings. When you have access to the internet you have — a lot of people for the first time will have access to things like basic financial services, they can get credit to start a business or get home or access to basic health information, so they can understand conditions that their family might have or help bring their children up more healthily, access to basic education materials. I mean there is this Deloitte study that just came out, I think was today or yesterday that showed that if you increase the number of people in emerging markets that have access internet you could easily create more than a hundred million jobs and bring that many people or more out of poverty and you could decrease the child mortality rate by up to 7% and save millions of lives by giving people access to that information. So we think it’s just this really important problem to work on.

David Kirkpatrick – Founder and CEO of Techonomy

So talk about what exactly is Internet.org?

Mark Zuckerberg – Founder, Facebook

So it’s a partnership and it’s a industry coalition that’s working together to build, to make delivering the internet all the different parts of it, more efficient and to make it so that everyone in the world can have access to some basic services on the internet for either really affordable price or free is the real goal for basic services and we think that we can do this in a way that gets people access to some basic services while increasing the overall number of subscribers and profits for the overall industries that people can invest more and building up this infrastructure even more.

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