How to begin… Queues started 2 hours in advance, crowds piled in filling every seat of the huge auditorium and paparazzi swarmed.
It was time to hear from the CEO of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg is the 16th richest person in the world and through his development of the social network has influenced the lives of millions of people.
Interviewed by Jessi Hempel from Wired she started off asking about possibly the biggest change to Marks life since they were on the Mobile World Congress stage last year. He became a father. Max is now 3 months old and became an interested reference point when considering the future of mobile and technology as what she will experience has she grows up.
Connected to previous keynotes Mark went on to chat about providing basic internet and their use of drones to provide access to those who don’t currently have it from the sky. Interestingly, giving people the opportunity to try the internet then saw 50% opting to pay services after a month.
When asked about the biggest trends he identified video as the growing area of engagement on the platform. Having started with text content, moved to photos, video is now leading the way. With 100 million hours of video watched everyday on facebook alone. He expects this will continue and the next phase will be a more immersive experience truly share the scene. By this he means 360 degree video moving into virtual reality and also the possibility of a live element so you can experience things in real time.
This would be done through 5G but also improving the technology so it can be seen in retina quality displays. This will be the next big driver of demand.
Walking around the exhibitions here, virtual reality was everywhere. All the big names are playing with it from Samsung who had a small cinema to ford motorcars.
I had read recently about Marks personal challenge to build an AI (artificial intelligent) assistant, so wasn’t surprised it also came up. It came from him wanting to control his house but is very early days so he wouldn’t give more detail. He did share it was a great project as it gave him the opportunity to code again.
Why does this computer engineer not code for facebook? They have a rule that it is a coders responsibility to fix any problems with their code. This means dropping anything else to fix bugs. Given Marks role this isn’t possible and he feel it is unfair to ask others to fix his code so this AI project lets him have some fun and get coding again.
Mark then went off to enjoy happy meals with his team (a little insider information there). Great to see him and hear about what they are working on.