Facebook's bigger picture: Internet.org and the 'knowledge economy'

Facebook's bigger picture: Internet.org and the 'knowledge economy'

Summary: Based on the third quarter earnings report alone, Facebook's CEO defended, "The results show our approach is working.”

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Facebook turned in a solid earnings report for the third quarter on Wednesday after the bell, reinforcing that the world’s largest social network shift to focusing on mobile was the right move.

But mobile is really only one piece of the puzzle in Facebook’s long-term growth strategy. 

As demonstrated by this summer's introduction of Internet.org, a project designed to build upon Facebook’s existing user base in order to connect everyone on the planet to the Internet, it’s obvious that one billion and counting is not enough.

Aside from the usual updates to the user experience and developer toolset, here’s a glance at what Facebook is cooking up for the long haul, according to execs speaking during the quarterly earnings call this afternoon.

On Internet.org: CEO Mark Zuckerberg boasted that his social network is "in a good place to” accomplish such an ambitious goal because of what so many people do on the Internet is usually on Facebook.

While briefly listing some of the industry partners (i.e. Samsung, Qualcomm, etc.) also needed to get a project of this magnitude off the ground, the Facebook chief acknowledged that Internet.org is still in its early infancy stages, promising more developments to be revealed over the next month.

The Knowledge Economy: LinkedIn has its economic graph. Google has a knowledge graph. Facebook is taking two buzzwords and might fall somewhere in the middle.

Zuckerberg posited, "The key to building the knowledge economy is building tools that enable everyone to jobs better.” He continued that this means Facebook will strengthen its focus on building new services for businesses, which should translate to better analytics, richer formats, and displaying more relevant ads to users.

Based on the third quarter earnings report alone, Zuckerberg defended, "The results show our approach is working.”

While trying to maintain a balance of hubris and humility, Zuckerberg also acknowledged that Facebook still has plenty of work to do in delivering relevant ads to each of its users.

He also hinted that this can’t happen over night, revealing that this project falls along the lines of a five-year time frame minimum.

Zuckerberg outlined that there are two pieces at work here. The first, he explained, helping customers (especially small businesses) use information better to grow business and create jobs. Secondly, Zuckerberg admitted he finds the Facebook experience to be “push-based,” meaning that users go to the news feed to find content. 

If Facebook does its job well, Zuckerberg suggested, then the company should be able to offer businesses more value from all of the knowledge (read: data) accumulated over time.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Apps, Mobility, Tech Industry, Web development

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