After showing Facebook Home, Mark Zuckerberg spent a few minutes talking about the future of computing. What he said is the epitome of a vision statement, and it sets the philosophy driving Facebook’s work:
At one level, [Home] is just the next mobile version of Facebook. At a deeper level, I think this can start to be a change in the relationship that we have with how we use computing devices. For more than thirty years, computers have mostly just been about tasks, and they had to be–they were too expensive and clunky and hard to use, so you wouldn’t really want to use them for anything else. But the modern computing device has a very different place in our lives. It’s not just for productivity and business, although it’s great for that too. It’s for making us more connected, more social, more aware.
Home, by putting people first, and then apps–by just flipping the order–is one of many small but meaningful changes in our relationship with technology over time.
When I think about the world today, what amazes me most is the number of people who are getting on the internet every day and how it’s improving their lives as they join this modern knowledge economy. I grew up with the internet, and I can’t really imagine a world without sharing, and messaging, and searching, but actually only about a third of the world is on the internet today–a little more than two billion people. So we’re really very close to the beginning of this. If you look out, maybe five or ten years, when all five billion people who have feature phones are going to have smart phones, we’re soon going to be living in a world where the majority of people who have a smart phone–a modern computing device–will have never seen in their lives what you and I call a “computer.”
So, just think about that for a moment.
The very definition of what a computer is and what our relationship with it should be hasn’t been set for the majority of the world. And when it is, I think a lot of that definition is going to be around people first. We’re about to see the most empowered generation of people in history, and it’s really an honor to be able to work on these problems.
This is a deeply technical problem and it’s also a deeply social problem. This is the kind of problem that Facebook, our culture and our community, are uniquely built to work on. And we look forward to continuing to do it and to sharing what we come up with with all of you. Thank you.
Watch the video here: Facebook Home announcement, starting at 38:00.