Mark Zuckerberg wants everyone in the world to use Facebook — and he wants mobile carriers to make it happen.
Speaking today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Facebook CEO presented his pitch for Internet.org, a push for carriers to provide free (or nearly free) Internet access in developing countries. Zuckerberg, however, doesn’t just want new Internet users to access video chat, use search engines or check Wikipedia. He wants them to use Facebook. Free of charge.
The organization, which also counts Samsung and Nokia as partners, is clearly driven by monetary potential, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. According to Zuckerberg, however, this isn’t an attempt to achieve world domination.
Zuckerberg shared onstage that this project will not be profitable in the short-team:
“I cannot construct a model in which this will be profitable in the near term. We are probably going to lose money on this for quite a while.”
Currently, Zuckerberg is looking to add a small number of partners, but plans to expand to a large number of carriers if Internet.org can “prove that the model works.” That’s the news here: Zuckerberg is making his pitch as public as possible.
This news follows Facebook’s acquisition of messaging giant WhatsApp for over $16 billion. Speaking of WhatsApp, Zuckerberg called it “a great company [that’s] a great fit for us.” Disappointingly, Zuckerberg outright denied to comment on the deal.