Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in his first ever townhall Q&A using ‘Facebook Live’ feature, spoke of using internet to connect people, Virtual reality, Artificial intelligence, Facebook’s future plans, his ambitions and goals, among a whole host of topics.
“We are trying to give people the power to share whatever they are experiencing or thinking with the world. Virtual Reality is about presence, feeling like you are really there with someone,” he said.
Asked whether Facebook would ever charge people for its usage, Zuckerberg’s answer was an emphatic no! “You will never have to pay for Facebook. That’s our commitment. We are not going to charge you,” he said.
We take a look at some salient answers from Zuckerberg’s Live Q&A, as it happened:
Here’s the time line:
01.00 am: Mark Zuckerberg concludes: I have a lot of questions coming in. Thank you guys for tuning in, I am going to call this Q&A a success. Keep writing in on what you want to see from us. I am going to keep doing more Q&As.
12.55 am: Mark Zuckerberg tells Jerry Seinfeld – I workout and then take a bath. Jerry Seinfeld to Zuckerberg: So you are not like President Obama who first takes a bath and then worksout. I found it weird but he told he me he is the President and can do what he wants.
12.52 am: Mark Zuckerberg to Comedian Jerry Seinfeld: The very first thing I do in the morning is look at my phone.
12.50 am: Mark Zuckerberg to Comedian Jerry Seinfeld: I was never a morning person, but Max (his daughter) is turning me into one.
12.45 am: Comedian Jerry Seinfeld joins Mark Zuckerberg during the Live Q&A.
12.40 am: Mark Zuckerberg to Jaipur-based Indian: I care about connecting people, give them the power to share. If I had to start all over again today, Facebook would look different. I wouldn’t start Facebook as a website, but as a mobile app. If you had to drop me in the middle of a jungle or a desert, after figuring my way out, I would still focus on connecting people. No matter what situation I am in, connecting people is what I am passionate about
12.37 am: Mark Zuckerberg: This question on who is your mentor or adviser is a common one. What I have always found to be true is that the people who I learn from most are the people I work with everyday, some of the product thinkers, designers and engineers who are building new things. It’s the people who you surround yourself with everyday that determines your learning. If you don’t think you are with people who you are learning from, then I guess it’s time for a change.
12.35 am: Mark Zuckerberg on whether FB is working on a Lite version: We already have Facebook Lite. You can find it in the app store, it doesn’t take much space in your phone, it is faster. It has less features, but if you are looking at a fast version, that’s the app for you.
12.31 am: Mark Zuckerberg: We are working on improving the Live Feed. How cool would it be that instead of you commenting on my answer, how cool would it be if you could pop in and chat. Facebook Live is new, we will add more features. In future it would be great if I can see what you guys are up to. We have long road map ahead.
12.28 am: Mark Zuckerberg’s answer to question by Kanpur-based Indian: VR and AI are not the end of tech innovation. Past VR is a world, where you can even capture a thought. There is some crazy brain research going on, where you can take an MRI of a person doing different activities, and then can predict what they are thinking. It’s a technology that is still many years away.
12.25 am: Mark Zuckerberg on Virtual Reality: We are trying to give people the power to share whatever they are experiencing or thinking with the world. VR is about presence, feeling like you are really there with someone. VR will give a new kind of presence, it will allow you to shoot 360 degree. I shared a 360 degree view of my office yesterday. I look forward to having a VR Q&A with you all.
12.22 am: Mark Zuckerberg: You will never have to pay for Facebook. That’s our commitment. We are not going to charge you.
12.21 am: Mark Zuckerberg: A lot of AI will help people. If you are in a public place and cannot switch on the volume of a video, the technology that we are working on can transcribe the video to give sub titles.
12.20 am: Mark Zuckerberg: Artificial Intelligence is the next thing I will speak of. AI is one of the areas of tech that I am most excited about for Facebook. One technology that we are working on is that AI can look into a photo and read out to a blind person what’s going on in the photo.
12.18 am: Mark Zuckerberg: One of the parts that I am excited about is connecting people. Internet helps get information for a lot of simple things, such as even taking tips to raise your kid.
12.16 am: Mark Zuckerberg: In 21st century, we need to start thinking of ourselves as global citizens, we need to build global infrastructure for that.
12.15 am: Mark Zuckerberg: How can technology add to global optimism? I am excited to answer this one. This is one question I think about a lot. Our mission is to connect more people and make the world more open. Historically people have used technology to connect and improve quality of lives. For early man, agriculture and settling into houses was also technology. We may not think of it like that now, but it was for them. Technology has evolved. We are at a point in human civilization, where we have the internet, which can connect people. We need to come together as a community, whether it is to solve or tackle climate change, terrorism or refugee crisis.
12.10 am: Zuckerberg: Some weird things happen as part of live Q&As. Someone has asked me if allegations that I am secretly a lizard are true. I am not.
12.08 am: Zuckerberg: We want to create spaces for you to share things that you care about. We are working on products where you can share your interests and hobbies with like-minded people. That’s where groups help.
12.05 am: Mark Zuckerberg: One of the persons who reached out to me for the Q&A spoke of the Orlando attack. And he said that we need to come together and act as one. This really touched me, I agree we need to act on this together. I am proud that we are doing that.
12.00 am: Zuckerberg: This is new for me. I am going to go through the chosen questions and answer them and see the comments that you are posting. That will make this more interactive.
Last week, Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook informing people about the live session. “Now with Live I can hear from more of our community at once and it’s a lot more interactive. We can cover all the big areas you’re interested in — connecting the world, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, live video, entrepreneurship, philanthropy and more,” wrote Zuckerberg asking users to leave questions below his post.