He’s a man on a mission, and when the man who created Facebook talks about mobile phones, people listen. In his keynote speech at MWC in Barcelona, he took some time to speak about WhatsApp, and its mission to connect one billion people across the globe. It’s no secret that Zuck’ has seen mobile as the future for Facebook, as well as many other social networks, long before data emerged that 48% of Facebook’s daily users are now mobile-only back in October 2013. The relationship between mobile and desktop computing power is one that’s seen many twists over the past decade, especially when you consider that mobile phones, which were once as small as a credit card, are now getting larger again.
Unless you’re seriously low on reception (or battery), you can’t fail to have heard that the mobile phone application WhatsApp was bought by Facebook for $19 billion (£12 billion) last week. It was also announced that a voice calling service will be added to the package in the coming months. When speaking about WhatsApp’s status in relation to Facebook, Zuckerberg said “It’s the shared goal to help connect everyone in the world”, and I couldn’t agree more.
The world is getting smaller, and the fact that more people are connected by secure innovations such a Facebook for SIM, mean developing nations are no longer disconnected from important information and potentially lifesaving communication. Facebook for SIM is a client/server SIM application for mobile operators, enabling anyone to access Facebook on any handset, even without a data connection or subscription.
At a time when the Leader Panel at MWC14 are already discussing 5G, despite the fact that Hossein Mooin, Executive Vice President at Nokia Solutions and Networks, kicked off the proceedings by saying “I have no idea what 5G is”, it is easy to forget that many people around the world still don’t have 3G connections – Zuckerberg stated that “fully 80 percent of the world’s population is covered by 3G and 2G networks”.
In conjunction with Zuckerberg’s keynote, Internet.org made several announcements yesterday, including the release of a study which found that expanding Internet access in developing countries to the levels seen today in developed economies would increase productivity by as much as 25 percent, generating $2.2 trillion in GDP and adding more than 140 million new jobs, thus lifting 160 million people out of poverty. Testament to the power of mobile indeed!
Are you at MWC like Mr. Zuckerberg this year? Let us know @Gemalto, or come see us at Mobile World Congress in Hall 5, Stand 5A80.