15 million online thanks to internet.org : Zuckerberg at IIT-Delhi
Exactly a month after he hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the company’s Silicon Valleytech Updated: Oct 28, 2015 18:01 IST
Exactly a month after he hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in India to hold a townhall Q&A at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi on Wednesday.
Live highlights from the townhall:
# These townhalls are an important part of how we run Facebook. Within the company, we encourage employees to ask questions
# India is one of the most important markets for Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg on why there’s so much interest in India
# 15 million connected to the Internet thanks to internet.org : Mark Zuckerberg
# Entrepreneurs and students are robbed of opportunity to innovate if they are not connected: Mark Zuckerberg
# Our mission is to connect all the people in the world and that can’t be done without the second biggest democracy in the world: Zuckerberg
# Around 4 billion people in the world still don’t have internet access, mainly due to lack of network, affordability and awareness: Mark Zuckerberg
# For every 10 people that get access to internet, 1 job is created & 1 person is lifted out of poverty: Zuckerberg
# Question for Zuckerberg: How can I stop getting Candycrush requests?
# This is why such townhalls are so useful. This was the top voted questions on our thread
# I told my developers that can we have a solution to this problem by the time I do my Q&A. So we are doing it now
# Question for Zuckerberg: How are you planning to integrate Oculus Rift with Facebook?
# We have dev kits for Oculus. Almost 200,000 dev kits shipped around the world. As time goes on, people get these richer and richer mediums for sharing. First it was text, now it’s photos. We are now entering the bold age of internet videos. It’s how we are going to consume things going forward. But a video is still just 2D, small screen. I think people want an even richer medium, you want to feel like you’re there. I’m expecting a daughter and I want my family to be there when she takes her first steps. That, I think, is going to be really magical. At some point, you are going to be able to share these experiences through your feed or WhatsApp.
# On Facebook and Artificial Intelligence: In 5-10 years, we want to be able to build computer systems that are better at conceiving and recognising things and people than humans. There’s going to be increasing intelligence in the things we do. 1) We can recognise what’s in your photos now. 2) In the future, it’s going to be possible with satellites to identify who is safe during earthquakes, who needs help, etc.
# Question for Zuckerberg: Internet.org is a great initiative but net neutrality? Does Internet.org support net neutrality fully?
# Yes it does. The US put in strong Net Neutrality regulations which we supported. In other countries, we are figuring out what rules they want and supporting that. In India, we realise the internet is expensive. Operators spend billions of dollars on infrastructure and they can’t give internet for free. But free basics, as long as you do text, low bandwidth, not directly cannibalising the operator business, we think that’s powerful and important
# Net Neutrality overall is an important topic. It’s imp that we have regulations that prevent companies and people from doing this that hurt others. If you’re a person and you’re trying to watch videos on YouTube and an operator wants to charge you more, that’s bad. It’s a violation of Net Neutrality. If an operator is trying to advantage their own service, that’s bad too
# The Taj Mahal was more awesome than the pictures
# The media sensationalises it has you have some eureka moment or you’re this singular person doing it but that’s not true. I didn’t have a revelation that Facebook was going to be awesome. Most services in the world that reached the scale that Facebook has
# On startup culture: I have seen this culture of people want to build a company before they knew what they were doing. Building a company is hard. You really need to care about something before you do that
# Practical reason: If you decide to start a company and hire people for your idea, it’s hard to pivot. If you’re someone who cares about it, you have flexibility to try different things and by the time you hit something that you think is working, you have most flexibility
# Most companies I know were started by people who just cared about something. If you’re starting something, focus on the impact its going to have and not just starting the company
# At Facebook today, what I find funny is that so much attention is placed on me, but there are Sheryl (Sandberg) and Chris Cox, etc. we couldn’t make Facebook work without those people.
# On having any regrets: I made every mistake you could probably make - hiring, product, technical, etc. Anything you can think about doing wrong, I have probably made that mistake. I didn’t know anything about business or hiring. You learn it like everything else - trial and error.
# You should not focus on what mistake you should avoid. but instead, if you do something good, you get the strength to power through a lot of mistakes. We are successful because we are helping people do something that’s valuable to people - connecting with their loved ones. So they forgive us for some mistakes.
With over 130 million users, India is Facebook’s largest market outside the United States. For more than a year, Facebook has been trying to push its free package of basic internet services called Free Basics (formerly Internet.org) in the country, billing it as an initiative to bring internet access to people in developing countries who can’t afford to pay for data.
The package, which includes news articles, job listings, health information, and a stripped-down, text-only version of Facebook, has been criticised by activists in India for breaking net neutrality principles by splitting the internet into paid and free tiers. In May, major partners like NDTV and Cleartrip pulled out of Facebook’s programme, stating that they believed it violated net neutrality.
Watch | Zuckerberg talks net neutrality, candy crush requests and more