Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had the perfect response for an analyst who questioned the company’s focus on spreading internet access across the world during Facebook’s Q4 earnings call Wednesday night.
Analyst Carlos Kirjner from Bernstein asked Zuckerberg why Facebook focuses so much on its non-profit partnership Internet.org, when emerging markets are harder to monetise.
“Mark, during your remarks in every earnings call, you talk to investors for a considerable amount of time about Facebook’s efforts to connect the world — specifically about Internet.org,” Kirjner said. “Can you clarify why you think this matters to investors?”
Without missing a beat, Zuckerberg delivered a zinger:
“Well, it matters to the kind of investors that we want to have,” he said.
Facebook, he says, is a mission-focused company that cares about more that just making money. The goal of Internet.org is to bring affordable internet access to parts of the world that don’t have it.
“We wake up every day and make decision because we want to help connect the world and that’s what we’re doing here,” he says (transcript via Seeking Alpha). “So part of that the subtext of your question is that yes, if we were only focused on making money, we might put all of our energy on just increasing ads to people in the U.S. and the other most developed countries. But that’s not the only thing that we care about here.”
Zuckerberg then went on to say that, in the long-term, Internet.org provides a solid business opportunity as well as a solid mission, even if Facebook can’t tell investors exactly when that investment will start paying off.
“We are here because our mission is to connect the world and I just thinks it’s really important than investors know that,” he said.