The next decade
Zuckerberg constantly refers to Facebook's three-, five-, and 10-year visions, some of which may never make the company any money. When an analyst on the company's earnings call asked Zuckerberg about his vision for connecting the world and just how that might contribute to Facebook's bottom line, Zuckerberg's voice hardened.
"If we were only focused on making money, we would only focus on showing ads to people in the U.S. and other developing countries," he said. "Focusing on connecting everyone will be a good business opportunity for us as well. As these countries get more connected, the economies grow, the ad markets grow, and if Facebook and other services in our community [like WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.] are the No. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 services people are using...We're here because our mission is to connect the world, and I think it's important for investors to know that."
Zuckerberg said in the company's last earnings call that 2015 will be a year of investment: The network will spend money on projects like Oculus and Internet.org, which won't be profitable for years but has already connected 6 million new people to the Internet who otherwise wouldn't have had access.
The company will also continue to grow its in-house messaging app, Facebook Messenger, as well as WhatsApp, which recently hit 500 million and 700 million MAUs, respectively. But don't expect ads on those apps, at least not anytime soon. Zuckerberg said messaging is "about where Facebook was around 2006-'07," fighting against advice to throw in banner ads to make a quick buck.
"Businesses are starting to figure out in the case of WhatsApp what the organic interaction is, but we're going to have to go through a whole cycle of how that interaction works," he said.
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