SAN FRANCISCO — The room was freezing cold, an Arctic glacier surrounded by windowless walls. On the other side of those walls lay the sunshine of San Francisco’s Indian summer, which seemed like a balmy mockery to those trapped within.
All so the Mayer-Zuckerberg double-header afternoon wouldn’t create a body-heat inferno. In the press section up front, my peers are literally shivering in their light coats, donning gloves and scarves and sipping hot tea to try to coax some semblance of warmth into their pitiful carcasses.
But hey, at least we’re not melting in a miasma of human odor.
Onstage today at Disrupt, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told the audience a bunch of stuff we already knew: 1.15 billion users, amazing results for mobile revenue, a not-so-smooth IPO, a better suite of mobile apps.
Onstage today at Disrupt, he told the audience a bunch of stuff we already knew: 1.15 billion users, amazing results for mobile revenue, a not-so-smooth IPO, a better suite of mobile apps.
But he also touched on a very interesting and somewhat new angle: Facebook’s aim to become the best soup-to-nuts platform for developers, especially mobile developers.
“When I was getting started in Facebook, I felt a void in the way we developed technology. Our brains are wired on communicating with other people. The way we built software and services didn’t reflect that at all .”
Hence, the Facebook Platform, which was intended to enable developers to build apps that were social by design (without either building a network from scratch or imprisoning developers inside Facebook itself).
He referenced Parse, a mobile-backend-as-a-service, as a great example of what the company wants to do in the area of developer tooling. In fact, as he said last week, he wished it was around when he was starting Facebook.
“A lot of developers are starting to rely on us as the primary way they grow their apps. … If we can help the industry overall build better apps, then I’m happy,” Zuckerberg said.
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This statement is perfectly in sync with a conversation we had last week with Facebook’s Platform VP Mike Vernal.
“I think about Facebook’s mission as helping people connect, wiring up the world,” said Vernal in our interview. ”For our developer mission, we want to extend the same thing to them. We want them to be able to build apps and reach everyone in the world.”
As Zuckerberg has made clear over the years, Facebook’s ultimate challenge is to connect every person on Earth. With its growing wealth of third-party-developed applications, connections, and features, the company is preparing itself for success in that regard.