Yesterday morning in San Francisco, California, Mark Zuckerberg delivered a keynote speech at the F8 – Facebook Developer Conference. After the greeting and brief outline of his engaging speech, Mark talked about importance of the mission that Facebook is undertaking. His statements were, without a doubt, partly a reaction to the political situation in the United States.
“It takes courage to choose hope over fear … Instead of building walls we can help people building bridges, and instead of dividing people we can help bring people together. We do it one connection at a time, one innovation at a time.”
The statistical data he gave displayed the social importance of innovation. He mentioned that for every 10 people who get online, one gets lifted out of poverty. Mark then presents a 10-year roadmap for the future of Facebook-associated projects. To put it in perspective, Facebook is an ecosystem for all of these. Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram are products ready to expand and reach their current goals in next 5 years. It is important to realize that these are not just regular apps anymore. Average traffic on WhatsApp and Messenger is three times bigger than the peak of SMS traffic.
It proves that these two apps have grown into major institutions of communication in the global society. The big news on this level is opening of the messenger platform for developers. They can now develop chat bots, which will be a major improvement for SME and start-ups. Customer-Company communication can be managed via a machine-learning based programs, making it a lot easier for small businesses, which then do not have to allocate manpower to this task, but also for large businesses, which have to communicate with customers in much bigger volume. From other platforms these services have proved themselves to be customer friendly, and on a Messenger scale, the data from them might have a significant impact on machine-learning technology and artificial intelligence development.
But it is the third level, which is perhaps the most interesting. It is the level of technologies Mark talked about towards the end of the presentation. Augmented/virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and connectivity are the fields where Facebook should reach its current goals in ten years. A couple weeks ago, live video feature was opened to everyone on Facebook. Mark notes that this was a very successful move, as live videos are watched 10 times longer and have 10 times more comments. Oculus, acquired by Facebook two years ago, is the major player in VR headsets. Its plans to grow have been recently marked by the partnership with Samsung, whose latest Galaxy S7 is capable of creating virtual reality together with a modified Oculus headset.
In connectivity, Facebook is active on three levels. It plans to launch a satellite connecting parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. It is also building a fleet of gigantic internet providing drones, capable of 90 day non-stop flight. Today at the conference, more will be revealed about Aries and Terragraph, technologies for improving connectivity on ground.
Because of its size, but also for its commitment, Facebook can make the World a more connected place. Mark Zuckerberg’s company might be underestimated, but it keeps proving its capabilities to change the way we use and think of internet. Watch the whole presentation below.