You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Zuckerberg’s Pivot Message: Facebook ‘Will Keep Building’

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg struck a defiant tone during his opening keynote for the company’s f8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, assuring developers that the company wasn’t slowing down. “We will keep building,” he announced to applause from the audience.

Zuckerberg did spend a significant amount of time talking about Facebook’s recent problems, highlighting the work that the company has been doing to combat fake news, election interference, and privacy intrusions.

“This has been an intense year,” Zuckerberg quipped. “I can’t believe we are only four months in.”

Facebook’s chief executive once again mentioned that the company was in the process of hiring 20,000 people to shore up security, something the company had previously committed to. He promised that Facebook was making “good promise” on fighting fake news, but also admitted that some of these problems could never really be solved.

“We will make mistakes, and they will have consequences, and we will need to fix them,” he said. “Security isn’t a problem that you ever fully solve.”

Zuckerberg also had one privacy-related news bit to share: The company is going to build new privacy tools that will allow its users to see which third-party apps and websites are gaining access to their information. Users will also be able to delete any such information, and opt out of future information sharing, something that Zuckerberg likened to the ability to delete cookies with a web browser. The information in question includes analytics data that Facebook shares with publishers, as well as data transmitted as part of its ad network.

Zuckerberg a minute to acknowledge the departure of Whatsapp co-founder Jan Koum, saying that he had been “a tireless advocate for privacy and encryption.” Facebook wouldn’t have built what essentially became the largest end-to-end encrypted messaging network with Whatsapp if it hadn’t been for Koum, Zuckerberg said. Koum had announced his departure from the company Monday, and a report in the Washington Post had pointed to disagreements over encryption as well as ways to monetize Whatsapp.

Zuckerberg spent some 16 minutes talking about the company’s recent crisis before moving on to a large number of product updates for Facebook services like Instagram, Messenger and Facebook itself. The announcements also included the launch of the Oculus Go VR headset.

This year’s keynote lacked the far-out technology optimism that Zuckerberg displayed in previous years.  But the presentation was clearly designed as a way to turn a page for the company, with Zuckerberg even making light of some of the company’s recent troubles by jokingly using his recent Congressional testimony as a use case for the company’s Watch Party feature. “Let’s say your friend is testifying in Congress. You can laugh together, you can cry together,” he joked, adding: “Let’s not do this again soon.”

More Digital

  • Evan Williams, Twitter founder (R) and

    Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams Steps Down From Company’s Board

    Twitter co-founder Evan “Ev” Williams is stepping down from the company’s board, Twitter announced in a SEC filing Friday afternoon. Williams will depart from the board at the end of this month, according to the filing. “It’s been an incredible 13 years, and I’m proud of what Twitter has accomplished during my time with the [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Shuts Down Controversial Ovano VPN App

    Responding to a continued backlash over its data collection practices, Facebook pulled the plug on its Ovano VPN app Friday. Ovano, which promised users an added level of privacy while using public Wifi hotspots, was used by Facebook for market research purposes. Facebook removed the app from the Google Play store Friday, and the company [...]

  • Smosh

    Smosh Acquired by Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment

    UPDATED: Smosh, the long-running YouTube comedy brand, has been acquired by Mythical Entertainment, the company formed by Rhett & Link, hosts of comedy show “Good Mythical Morning.” As first reported by Variety last week, Mythical emerged as the leading candidate to buy Smosh, which was left stranded after parent company Defy Media shut down without [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Aims to Top $1 Billion in Revenue in 2019, Beats Holiday Quarter Earnings Expectations

    Roku wants to become a billion-dollar company in 2019, and invest more in its ongoing international expansion. The streaming-device maker told investors on Thursday that it expects to generate between $1 billion and $1.025 billion this year, and that international growth was one of its key investment areas for 2019. Roku made these announcements as [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content