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Facebook has turned 12-years-old and has over one and half billion people using its platform to connect with their friends and family. Speaking at an event held to commemorate Facebook’s 12th anniversary, Mark Zuckerberg stated that by 2030 he envisions a 5 billion user base for Facebook (via USA Today).

We want to finish connecting everyone, we’re going to do it in partnership with Governments and different companies all over the world.

Given that in many countries even today, access to basic internet, let alone owning a smartphone, is a distant reality, bringing 5 billion people on a single platform is an upscale task. It appears that Facebook’s Free Basics initiative, previously known as the Internet.Org might play a large part in this endeavour. The Free Basics initiative is up and running in about 25 countries as of now.

By providing people with access to internet, Facebook might prospect a large untapped user base to connect on Facebook. By 2030 the world’s population will rise to 8.5 billion from the current 7 billion. And Zuckerberg wants more than half of that, which is 5 billion to stay connected on the social networking platform. Facebook wants to deliver internet to remote and unconnected location through drones that mainly serve the purpose of connecting its users through the Free Basics service.

Apart from revealing his ambitions for the future, Zuckerberg also spoke about Facebook’s prospects in the virtual reality technology and how the company is keen on developing upon the sector. The company took its first step into the sector by acquiring headset maker Oculus Rift for $2 billion.

You can convey emotions through text, and photos, and videos get you closer, but actually being able to feel like you are there is going to be amazingly powerful when the medium becomes mature. We’re reaching this period where video is going to be primary thing we use on the Internet, because of the emotional weight of it,

stated Zuckerberg.

Facebook and its other subsidiaries are doing equally well, with WhatsApp now crossing a billion users and its Messenger app boasting of 800 million active users on its platform.

An ecstatic Zuckerberg, looking back at Facebook’s genesis, recalled the night he and his friends celebrated the evening Facebook went live at a pizza joint, and stated that

We thought, OK, one day someone will build this sort of thing for the world, but it’s not going to be us.

There’s Google and Microsoft, with thousands of engineers who have more experience than us and all these resources, so someone is going to build it. But when I reflect on it, I think we cared more, even if we didn’t realize we cared more. We felt that everyone must realize this was a valuable thing that should get built.


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