Exclusive: Mark Zuckerberg on the Quest Pro, future of the metaverse, and more

Exclusive: Mark Zuckerberg on the Quest Pro, future of the metaverse, and more

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Mark thanks for doing this happy to do it thanks for having me we have a lot to talk about including this thing sitting here between us yes that's a good one this new device you've got a lot of ground to cover actually I wanted to start where you and I left off a year ago when we had this conversation which was um the Rebrand it's a meta it's been a year now um the world was very different a year ago I think your company was in a very different spot the world was just in a different spot um I guess looking back now uh I'd be curious to hear you reflect on um doing the Rebrand when you did and did it achieve what you hoped it would well yeah no I think that that's that is a good place to start um I'll I'll just start off by saying that you know about a year ago this time you gave us a lot of trouble by uh by breaking the news of uh of this Rebrand yeah sorry about that yeah well you know it's uh you were doing your job and and I respect that so I appreciate it um but I I think that that was that was just about the biggest thing of the year that we were trying to we just tried so hard to keep it under wraps but but somehow you got that one um so touche um I know there's a bunch to reflect on here so first is this is a long-term Journey right I mean it was never like okay we're trying to uh the internal conversations we had actually always expected that the initial moment of the Rebrand was going to be quite negative and um and then that over time we would just sort of build this out right just because like there are all these questions around what the Future Vision is that we're building and um and we just and all this stuff is ahead right I mean we're kind of this is the you know the first version of the the work VR device line that we're shipping and you know it's not going to be until you know later this decade when we're on V4 V5 that this stuff really starts to get fully mature and um so I just figured there's so much story here left to fill out and this is like a long-term thing so I'd say the initial response to the Rebrand dramatically surpassed my expectations about um kind of what could be achieved in terms of people um hearing the vision that we were that we wanted to put out there and I think like almost overnight um you know in the first few months you had all these other companies sort of um jumping in and talking about how they wanted to do stuff in the metaverse too and I think it really popularized um that term and that Vision um in a way that that just dramatically exceeded what I had actually expected you you look surprised well uh it exceeded what I I'm surprised because it exceeded what I expected as well the the way that metaverse became a meme and this in the business world really everywhere and now there's Chief metaverse officers at companies right I mean it sounds like you didn't expect for it to catch on quite like that no I kind of assumed that we were going to have to just continue building out the road map and that I mean maybe sometime like five years from now things would start to click and people would start to understand what we were putting together um instead I I think a lot of people really got a lot of the vision um for for what it is I mean obviously it's still this high level concept there's a ton of stuff that still needs to get built but but I I think you know it caught people's excitement um just as as sort of a kind of a long-term hope for what we want to build more than more than I'd actually thought was possible and that I think actually poses different opportunities and challenges on the one hand a lot of folks are really excited about working on it on the other hand I do think it just sets up for a trough of disillusionment at some point because you know it is a vision that's that's um that's far out um and we're obviously investing a lot and the products are working really well I mean Quest 2 is is working really well and I think a lot of the research that we have and mixed reality augmented reality neural interfaces like all the all these I think these are leading in across the industry so I'm really excited about what we're doing but um but it's not like the stuff is going to be fully mature in in um you know in a year or or even you know two or three years it's gonna take a long time to build out the next Computing platform um so so we'll see I think that's that's been generally good but then the the other piece that I've reflected on a lot um is as you've said I think the the world is in a pretty different place now um you know the the market is in a different place um your evaluation I mean it's dramatically different well us and and pretty much everyone else right it's um you know inflation has gone up interest rates have gone up when interest rates go up that weighs on all Equity prices right and um but you know there there are kind of some people are like maybe a little bit overly kind of financial about about um about thinking through um strategy who would say okay well when when you see things like that then you need to dial back on on kind of long-term projects and um I do think you're seeing that across a lot of the the industry so there's there's a part of me that thinks that it actually would have been a lot harder and and probably wouldn't have been received as well to have have kind of announced this Vision this year than last year um given where the world is um so then the question is well how do you feel about that um you know given that that might be less excited about it now and you know I wake up in the morning and I'm like I'm pretty happy you know that we did it right because it's you know it's I think you could you could either say hey it would be you know it would be looked at um you know somewhat more negatively today or would be harder to do today so you know do you are you psyched that you did this thing a year ago and yeah I mean because I I think it would have been kind of harder to mobilize around this now and like this is what we're here to do for for the next you know decade or or however long it takes to build out this next generation of computing that's going to be fundamentally more focused on people and delivering the sense of presence that you know you feel like you're right there with another person so um so yeah I'd say I'm pretty positive about how how uh how it's gone so far but but also um I don't know I feel like I've been doing this for long enough to understand that everything that goes well has it has like um brings its own challenges in different ways too so I think yeah you just deal with what's in in front of you but over the but we're really I mean I'm focused on this over the long term so yeah um so I mean you you've gotten some sense of the road map and we're here today to talk about the next step in the journey and um in some ways it's the beginning of a big part of the journey because work is a big part of computing um they're 200 million uh people who get new PCS every year primarily for work um I do think that by you know as we develop the the quest Pro Line and continue building it out you're gonna be able to do pretty much everything you can do on PC is on VR and more um so I think that this is just another big Vector for developing the next Computing platform is is basically this is a step towards you know all 200 million of those people who get new PCS every year instead you know starting to do some of the work in in VR in addition to all the folks who are gaming doing right hanging out socially et cetera well let's talk about the quest Pro because I got to try it at your research center in Redmond recently um and it's very different from the existing quests line and I think there's two big things that people will have probably not experienced until they try it it'll be the first time they try it and see this is the face tracking and mixed reality um and I wanted to kind of talk about those two points with you maybe starting with mixed reality which is your this isn't VR in the traditional sense you're actually mixing video of the world around you with VR why is this something that needs to exist I mean what does mixed reality represent on the Continuum of like where you've gone with VR today yeah so just first for for background um you know mixed reality what it basically is that it takes you see the physical world around you and then you can overlay digital objects so you can think about virtual reality is you know the system is basically painting every pixel right so you're in a fully immersive world you're you're in a completely different place um over the long term you'll have augmented reality which are you know glasses something like what you're what you're wearing now is basically like the target of what we would like to get to um I don't know if you'll be able to get that much smaller than that because there's a lot of a lot of electronics to cram in there right the you know all the the silicon and the projector and the wave guides to display the Holograms and the cameras to to basically make sure that all the objects and the Holograms are locked in the right place in the world and the speakers and batteries and all right okay so so a lot of stuff to fit into those glasses but you'll get that um and when you have glasses like what you're wearing now you'll see the kind of actual you know photons from the world things around you and then you'll overlay Holograms just in that place so mixed reality is sort of this in between where it's a it's a VR device um that basically every kind of pixel that you're seeing in your in Your Vision um is rendered by by the graphics pipeline in the device but it does this thing called pass-through where you have cameras on the outside an array of cameras because um you know your eyes we see in Stereo right that's how we get 3D so it's not just one camera it's important that we get the different perspectives and um and it can basically pass that through in high resolution and in color and then it can you know if given the screen it can either print what the photons are that it's getting from the outside or they can overlay digital objects so you can be sitting at a at a desk and have your kind of perfect workstation up with three huge monitors and um then you can you know but you can see your physical keyboard in front of you and your physical Mouse so you can you can kind of control your the digital monitors that aren't actually there I tried this I tried this last week and I will say the monitor thing is compelling um what I noticed was the keyboard itself was a little fuzzy still and and I didn't feel like I could see the keys super well to feel like confident typing yeah I mean I think that all the stuff will get better over time um the there's some kind of tracking augmentation that we can do for certain keyboards too Sears may just not have had that but um but in general you can get a sense of where where this is going but I don't think I mean this is a V1 device right so it's not it's not like the perfect incarnation of this I mean just like quest one to Quest 2 is this huge jump and there's a many times more sales I I do think you know it's like we'll keep on building this out but but this is the best mixed reality that anyone has built right so far and this is yeah um in this kind of I think is enough to introduce the concept to the world show where it's going get the development ecosystem starting to go so you'll you'll get people building use cases for um for work whether it's the the desktop um you know solo productivity example um you'll be able to have kind of hybrid meetings where you know instead of work rooms where um which we have today where you're in VR and you can see people's avatars now you'll be able to have hybrid meetings where you can some people can physically be there and you'll see them um but then other people will just show up in VR and you'll see their avatars so that'll be pretty sweet so there's a I mean there's a lot of mixed reality use cases I think that will show out over time the other component of this is face tracking and being able to see your face movements and your eye movements and I see the value in the experience I did a demo where I was with one of your employees and work rooms and it it felt it did feel more visceral like being able to see how her face reacted in real time yeah um so I understand the use case of it completely I'm curious how you thought about building that into the product from a privacy perspective because obviously there's going to be concerns about face tracking yeah sure sure first let's talk about like what it is and and why it's valuable sure um I mean I think well I can answer your question quickly on the Privacy side yeah the I mean the the um the face sensing data stays on the device right and um and we don't send the raw data to apps and people basically have to opt in and if they want the an app to to be able to know where where they're looking the eye tracking or their face and importantly you don't have the raw data either like it's on the device and and it's and it's encrypted and then it basically gets thrown away as soon as it's processed so so I think that that that's so from a privacy perspective I think we can okay I I actually think that that's been um you think that's solid yeah I mean we've also had people come and audited and yeah and and it's um you know it's you know I'm sure over time we'll we'll add more capabilities and we'll need to keep thinking through this so security is never a thing that's done sure right but um but it's it's something that we've thought through very carefully given the the sensitivity around it but I do think it's worth just talking about why that this is such a big deal right so mixed reality I think is clearly a big deal because it's this bridge between virtual reality which you can build today and augmented reality which you know you you kind of want but it's it's still a few years away from really being able to get built so this sort of starts to bring that experience in even if it's in a VR form factor um the face expressions are critical because it gets to why we're in this at all which is we're really focused on the potential of VR and AR to deliver this authentic sense of presence no other technology can do this right it's like when you're on your phone um or if you're on a zoom call um it's it's nice to be able to see the person you can like pick up some context around them but your brain is under No Illusion that you are there with them right it's like you if anything you're trying to convince yourself that you're that you're kind of having a a closer interaction than then you actually then you obviously know you're in a different room and all that the the magic of VR for people who have experienced this you know that that it just it basically immediately convinces your mind that you are present in another place and with the people who are there so you know for and when you see avatars you know even if they're expressive avatars that aren't yet photorealistic um it feels very um very rich and present when you're there in a lot of ways um you know even more so than you know what you would get on a zoom call today where obviously people show up in a photo realistic way but there's there's just so much that it doesn't feel like you're actually present whereas even if you have this expressive somewhat um Cartoon Avatar um you know next to you it actually you know you feel like you're there next to each other even if you're you know thousands of miles apart if they're on the other Coast or something like and that to you is compelling in and of its own right to for this technology to where you think that's going to be a reason people gravitate towards not to me that is the primary value of it um is is basically the ability to feel and deliver this sense of presence I think this like human sense of presence is such a a profound and magical thing that and we're a company that just I mean like everyone here wakes up in the morning and thinks about how we're going to like help people connect and communicate um you can't deliver that kind of sense of presence on any of the platforms that we've had the opportunity to build on yet right so we built on web on PC um on mobile there's a lot of good things about all those platforms but if you think about like what is the ultimate expression of social technology you're not going to get it on a phone right so that's why we're investing so much money in like so many of our our top people in trying to invent and accelerate the development of of this next platform because it's going to enable um I think the the sort of the ultimate expression of of um you know what we set out to do with building building social software so then the question is okay um what are all the things that we just need to like burn down to make it so that um like on the list of of things that get in the way of of feeling like you're even more immersed and present with other people and um one of them obviously is is um realistic Expressions right so it's um you know I think that this is going to be one of the defining characteristics of of this product and and hopefully a lot more that we do going forward is um is the accurate kind of face expressions and ability to make eye contact which is also really powerful and also something you can't really do on video calls today it's it's kind of yeah you know it's like if you try to look at someone's eyes you're not looking at the cameras that you know so all these um kind of weird issues that break the sense of present but in order to do that it's um it's a pretty big trade-off in the design because you're putting a bunch of different sensors in there yeah which consume a lot of the CPU on the device and the the kind of silicon power budget that you have um basically processing the input from these sensors um in order to make it so that when you're in VR and mixed reality and eventually augmented reality your representation of yourself will have realistic Expressions so you know I mean a lot of companies I think might I mean it's it's I'm interested to see what happens but I think other folks in the space you look at like Sony's coming out with a new headset this year I mean this isn't like a thing that I think that they're prioritizing I think Apple's headset is going to look and work a lot like this well we'll see yeah I mean it's um I don't know it's it's actually it's been very hard for us to have any sense of what they're doing so I find it best to just I think we'll know soon well yeah um that'll be interesting too yeah but it's but um something that this really gets to the mission of what we're of what we're doing around this yeah so I mean the in terms of trade-offs too this is an expensive device this is a lot more expensive than the quest 2. yeah um you've been very clear that you want to make these devices as cheap as possible to get them in the hands of as many people as possible I think in 2017 you said you won a billion people in VR that was your goal well um it's a good start I think I think the Quest 2 has done over 10 million sales to date does that sound accurate I mean I'm not those are the estimates we haven't shared any numbers why not um that's a good question I think we tend to not share numbers until things are a lot bigger a lot better so you're waiting for a certain number I I don't actually have a number in mind yeah yeah okay well so the estimates are that you've done over 10 million with quests I'm sure it's higher than that you're obviously far from a billion but um who is this device for at this price point because I think you know the Quest 2 is considered kind of a gaming device there's a lot of social stuff starting to happen there's Fitness with Supernatural who's who is the Target customer for this so there are really two sets of folks one are just people who want the best VR device that anyone has made so I think if you want that um then this is it um it is better than the quest 2. it's a lot more expensive so it won't be for everyone but there's some group of people who want that the second is people who want um basically a device that's for productivity right and um when I think about the market I think that they're going to be two basic different kind of tiers and price segments and that there's going to be a a kind of consumer-oriented segment um that is you know maybe three four five hundred dollar devices right that that can that people widely can can afford um sort of in the price of an Xbox or a PlayStation um that a lot of the use cases there will be entertainment focused whether it's gaming or social and and kind of hanging out with people um or things like Fitness um and that that list of use cases will just continue growing but it's it's been pretty cool to see see how that's expanded so far if you think about how you use computers um there's also clearly a market for people who want to pay you know are willing to pay fifteen hundred dollars two thousand dollars um kind of high-end Professionals for their workstations and that's what you imagine being that important for this yeah I mean for this and for the future um of the Pro Line overall right I do think that there's going to be a market for people who want to get um the people who are really interested in VR um being able to be their primary workstation um over time I think that that's there's going to be a market around that and people who are sort of high-end professionals there um you're already paying thousands of dollars for your workstation so I think that's pretty clear that the ability to get more technology into there to make that even better um you do it right if I could if I could give all of our Engineers a device and have them you know be three percent more productive I'd give them a 1500 device for for sure um so it's just in terms of so that's kind of the the in terms of the market segmentation um what we expect to happen there's also this advantage in developing both of them which is that we can introduce new technology first in this one and this um before we can get it into the price point for the consumer one and being able to work on it and developing it actually helps us get it into the consumer One faster and better and by the time that it is in the consumer one we already have a developer ecosystem and content around it because um you know even if fewer people are buying the quest one it's more of a high-end device um it'll be enough to kind of get the developer ecosystem going so you know we're you know of course we're working on more devices in the consumer line too right there there will be a quest 3 at some point not this year um but you know I'd love to get you know some of these features um into into future devices whether it's Quest 3 Quest 4. um and you know the fact that we're building Quest Pro and have that and people can start building for mixed reality and I think it'd be just a pretty big advantage on that too you've been pretty open that on the Quest 2 you are not making money on the hardware are you making money on this like on a unit basis sir I mean I'd have to look there are lots of different ways to basically do the accounting on this right I guess so is this a profit yeah I think the the strategy overall is not to make money on the hardware but to make it so it can help develop the ecosystem and then over time the business model will be based on software and services so that that remains the approach um I wasn't sure because I I you invest so much in Hardware you have so many people working on this you're spending so much money on Hardware um I wasn't sure if you had landed on a hardware business or not I think it probably depends on how exactly you account for it so like if you're just saying what is like the materials that go into the device maybe we're charging a little bit more for that for for the device than the materials that go into it but if you account for all the r d and everything then know it right so so it's um but no the strategy is not I mean we're not trying to um have premium device prices and make a profit on that our whole approach as a company is get as many people as possible to be able to access these tools and then over time you build a better ecosystem that way got it and that this is like a pretty deep part of our philosophy around this overall which is um we also want to help build the open ecosystem around all of this so rather than being kind of insular and um you know trying to do everything ourselves and a big part of the theme for this year's connect is all the Partnerships that we have a partnership with Microsoft is just going to be fundamental for um we're not Enterprise company right so making it so this can can basically succeed with Enterprises yeah well let's talk about the Microsoft partnership for a minute because I it's a big sweeping partnership you know you've got Satya Nadella speaking at connect and um yeah it's it's across all their services you've got teams you've got yeah I mean Azure Windows um what's in it for you and what's in it for Microsoft I guess in this dynamic because it's unusual to see companies this large I think you know partner on such a kind of a broad broad way um yeah I I'm not actually sure how unusual it is but I agree it's a very big deal uh for the development of this because I think both companies are building important pieces of technology for the next generation of computing and I think we'll just be able to unlock more together um and one of the things that I'm really excited about I mean teams is obviously great the Microsoft 365 announcements you can basically have a have a Windows PC in the cloud and as part of your virtual workstation you can just stream that so you can have you know at the virtual desk that we were talking about a while ago you can have three huge monitors that are basically streaming things from your Windows PC in the cloud but also the announcement around InTune and Azure active directory which are basically the tools that Microsoft sells to Enterprises so the cios know that like everything on the device is going to be kind of secure for that Enterprise in an Enterprise environment and only the people who are supposed to have access to things get it that's a pretty big deal and Microsoft has just been building this stuff for I mean decades at this point right um so while we're building some of the basic Tools around this um and maybe in a decade from now will be in a somewhat different place even though I don't think we're ever going to be primarily an Enterprise company um it just it really jump starts this if we're selling this as a work device um you know work work doesn't just mean Enterprise um you know it's you know I don't I don't know if you would consider you know your job like within an Enterprise or but you're clearly a high-end professional and um and it's uh the but Enterprise are a big part of this there are a lot of people who work at very big companies and Microsoft is clearly going to help jump start that and and also be able to help sell it as as part of the solution that was going to be my next question so they send customers to you potentially and they benefit because Azure grows as your ecosystem grows I mean well I think you can imagine um an environment where or something where you know a company goes to Microsoft and you know asks how they can Empower their employees in the metaverse and Microsoft has among other things that they're that they're basically working with that company on one of the options that Microsoft has is to put all the Microsoft Suite of services on a quest Pro and and make it so that um easy for for Enterprises to adopt that I think that's pretty compelling for both Microsoft and us and the Enterprises that now have a turnkey solution to use all the Microsoft software that they're that they're used to inside their Enterprise um and so that's going to be pretty powerful um at the same time I mean it's you know it's not just Microsoft we also announced a bunch of software that adobe is bringing I mean they do a lot of um you know high-end high-end um you've got auto desk as well the auto desk um Accenture which I think is is um you know in in this industry they're not necessarily seen as like a massive technology company necessarily but they do a ton of integration um and and are one of the big um kind of technology integrators and creators for that do all the last mile work um for all these companies they're an incredibly important player in the ecosystem if you're you know whatever industry you're in um if you want to help you know train your employees or you know help people troubleshoot um you know so you're kind of training people whether they're in a factory or on an oil rig or something and it's like like you you want that that software to basically be able to work not just in virtual reality for training but mixed reality yeah I mean that's awesome right the way you can see the environment around you you can overlay the training modules on it someone has to build that yeah um Accenture is basically a great company to do that that's trusted by all these other Enterprises to do that so I think it's this Suite of in kind of set of Partnerships that I think lays out that our philosophy on this is that we're not trying to do this all ourselves but and I think that this actually gets to a a more General philosophy about Computing that I think it's going to be pretty important over the next 10 years which is that as as we see this this play out um is that in each generation of computing that I've seen so far you know PCS mobile there's basically an open ecosystem and there's a closed ecosystem so in in PCS it was Windows and Mac and mobile it was Android and iPhone and the closed ecosystem very tightly integrated relatively insular a lot of the value basically just flows towards the closed ecosystem over time listeners he's talking about Apple but yes well yes yeah MacIntosh and yeah and um yeah and an iPhone and the open ecosystem and basically you have much broader Partnerships right so Microsoft didn't build the chips they didn't they didn't build the PCS um you know they didn't build the App Store like all this key stuff that was that was kind of developed around the ecosystem similar with Android um and that's basically what we hope to build here is the the open ecosystem for the next generation of computing around virtual and augmented reality in the metaverse more broadly which which means that they're going to need to be all these Partnerships and one of the interesting things that I just think about in the history of computing is it's it really isn't predetermined which type of ecosystem ends up succeeding more in PCS I think you'd say that Windows um during the 90s and 2000s especially was really the primary ecosystem in in Computing the the open ecosystem was was kind of winning um in Mobile I think you'd you'd you'd probably have to say that iOS is the is the winning one um even though there's technically a bunch more Androids than iPhones from a profit perspective it's I mean I think I think apple is something like 80 of the profits and and you know countries like the US I think that they have 60 market share and growing so um so I think the closed ecosystem has really um won in Mobile but I think from that mix over time it's really it's not clear it's not predetermined that one model has to win out over the other and I think we're kind of going to get a reset in the next generation of computing and so our goal and how we approach this is not just to help build the open ecosystem in partnership with all these other companies but to make sure that in this generation of computing the open ecosystem wins again hmm yeah I mean I think that's interesting so is it fair to say you're taking more of an Android approach then than an apple approach here because you do a lot of custom silicon work you do a lot of Hardware you build the hardware you build the software you build Services you have I mean I think that we're still early in the story yeah um so I think that there are pieces of this that we've had to build just because there's no ecosystem right yet right but our goal is to is to basically be able to um to spread that out over time and to not you know I mean is like in the in the future I mean do I expect that you know great companies like Samsung are going to be building VR devices of course they they are and like what I love to work with them yeah of course you know at the right time um so I think that things like that we'll need to we'll need to kind of figure out how how exactly that would work um but yeah I mean we're we're very early in the ecosystem I think Quest 2 is really the first mainstream VR device and I think before Quest 2 most of these other companies weren't even taking it that seriously right um and now I think people are more open to it and there's more interesting conversations happening yeah and I I have this theory that when Apple comes out with this headset they've been working on I think everyone will see this Dynamic playing out a lot more clearly that you're talking about I think right now you're out there leading and there's going to be more entrants that come in specifically apple with their approach and I'm actually wondering while we're on that topic you know Apple's done quite a number on you on mobile with that ad tracking prompt right you said it cost you like 10 billion or something like that and the last earnings call um and I see what they're doing in headsets they haven't obviously acknowledged it but it's coming um do you think those two are related at all because what I see is they've really hurt your ads business their ads business is also growing pretty dramatically at the same time and they're about to compete with you in headsets do you do you do you see those things as connected um it's really hard to know so it's it's it's hard for me to you have to have an idea though I mean I I don't know I mean I think to some degree it really it's it's hard to know what you know what documents or conversations they have over there that either connect or don't these different parts of the strategy or or or whatever I mean it's certainly plausible that um you know that they kind of see this competition in the future and and and want to hinder us I mean I I do think that um I think one thing that's been pretty clear is that their motives in doing the things that they're doing are not as altruistic as they claim them to be um you know I'm sure that they believe it's at some level in in the things that they're doing and think that they're good for for their customers but I it's it it can't just be a coincidence that it also aligns very well with their strategy um so but honestly I don't want to it's hard for me to go too deep on this because I mean right I don't work at Apple I don't I don't know them that well um I've um and at the end of the day I can't really control what they do right so and they may not let you on their headset do your apps on their headset that may be the dynamic that plays out right and so I guess what I'm trying to connect the dots here is do you feel do you feel a necessity to build this stuff because of how the platform Dynamics have shaped out on mobile um that's not the main reason but I think it it certainly is uh is one consideration sure I mean the my belief in this in the the notion of the metaverse and in these platforms dates back to before I started Facebook um you know I mean I told the story last year around how I like remember when I was in Middle School and I used to like be in math class and would just like not be paying attention to my teacher and just be like writing code in my notebook or ideas for things that I wanted to go code or build when I went home from school that day and like and one of the things that I was really excited about was this idea of um you know basically a a kind of social environment where you could like be present and immersive and like a 3D environment around that and it's at the time I was like I was a middle school kid I didn't you know I didn't necessarily have the math background or the um or the computing power available to to build a bunch of that stuff but I mean I've been and pretty much my whole life I've been interested in kind of the intersection of technology and how people relate to each other you know in college I studied psychology and computer science yeah right so um and this is obviously been the kind of the full um you know history of the company has been building this kind of social software so I I think that it's more more of the motivation for this is um it's this long-standing notion that um that basically this will unlock in in my view the ultimate expression of of kind of social technology the ability to be present and feel like you're there with another person no matter where you actually are um I don't know I mean just think about this it's like we're doing this podcast live in person um you know you mentioned the other day that you kind of hadn't done a ton of in-person stuff right since covid started but like we don't have the technology yet to basically do something like this and have it feel like there's there's some reason why you want to do the podcast in person right it's like it like there's there's a connection that you have in person um and there's a reason why you didn't want to do this over Zoom sure right we've done it over Zoom it's it's not the same yeah so yeah so I just think that like when this gets developed um it um I I really think it's good like the ability to have this conversation where in the future like I'm just a hologram sitting here if we can't actually be here together from another country around the world or you're a hologram or um but it feels like we're physically there together I just think there's like a real magic to that that's going to enable um really great experiences and you can kind of get some of that in VR today but unfortunately there's this Dynamic that we've seen that things that feel really neat and present when you're in VR they don't yet translate that well to 2D right so if you take a video of us kind of sitting there in work rooms we might feel like oh wow this is actually pretty amazing it's like we feel like we're right there but then you you put it in 2D and you you know you you know like put a video online it collapses it yeah it it's just like oh that that kind of looks um that just looks flat right um or it doesn't doesn't look that interesting so which I think is part of the reason why we're why we're not doing this in VR right now even though I think we very well could um but but I think we'll get there over the next few years too in terms of um the the graphical Fidelity and and kind of photo realism around um around more of the stuff it's very it's to hearing you talk about it I mean you're so you're obviously so passionate about it you have such a deep conviction about it do you feel the kind of outside people still doubting this strategy and doubting that this is actually going to be a thing at the scale that you seem to just have deep conviction that it will be I think there's a lot of people that still don't a understand what the metaverse even means but B also see the appeal of why they should even try one of these headsets and do you just think it's going to be kind of a slow gradual like more people yeah Network effects will come in over time is there going to be like a get faster and faster and faster so you're not seeing some like aha killer app moments that really like catches on like wildfire it's you really see this as being a gradual thing throughout this decade well I think if you're trying to build something at the scale of billions of people that doesn't happen overnight yeah right so I mean so Facebook grew really fast um it took eight years to reach a billion people I mean yeah in hindsight when you say it that way yeah I actually think I I saw some someone saying that this week or today is the 10-year anniversary of us reaching a billion people which I think is kind of kind of an interesting thing but it took a while and it's a lot easier to grow software on top of a platform that someone has already yeah built then um than to basically ship you know yeah atoms around um so yeah but but I think so this I think it happens more in Step functions but it's like all these little S curves that that add up to to um to getting there over time I don't know I I kind of I enjoy being doubted it's um you do I I mean how are you how do you still enjoy it why do you enjoy it I don't know um if if too many people kind of get or or think that what you're doing is obviously gonna happen then I just think it gets um it gets it gets a little comfortable so you feed off the hate a little bit it's not hate is different from doubt right haters um well I actually think one of the difficult things about running one of these companies or just being like a public person on the internet now is separating out [Music] um people who are constructive about trying to build something versus people who are just haters I mean there's there's a lot of people who are not trying to help anything and you probably have more haters than just about anyone in time I mean I think yeah once you reach a certain scale I think yeah you get saturated yeah I'm not sure I mean you probably you have to separate that out for your own sanity too I I have to imagine but also just like you're trying to find useful signal right I mean if you if you tune out everyone who thinks that you're not doing something right then you're going to miss a lot of really valuable signal to do stuff better than you're doing it today so you want to not ignore critique but at the same time I just think there are a lot of people who don't actually who actually aren't trying to help and and aren't trying to make things better yeah so I do think that that's that's sort of an art and I I think it's a continual struggle for I think a lot of public people on the internet not not just not just me yeah I wanted to talk about what's happening on the the family of apps on the social media side a little bit because you've got this big change happening with this discovery engine approach that you're undertaking and feed and uh I mean the elephant in the room is Tick-Tock right and kind of what they introduced to the world where Facebook and Instagram were built on these friends and follower models showing you content from them mostly you call it connected and internally versus unconnected Tick Tock was like we're just going to show you what we think our AI thinks you'll like and it turns out people really like that and you're currently re-architecting the feeds to be more like tick tocks for you page in the sense that it's going to be content that you mess maybe necessarily didn't even know you wanted to see yeah right and you said that this is a huge AI challenge it's a huge technical undertaking I think you've said internally it'll take a while for you to like be where Tick Tock is in terms of how good the technical term yeah um I'm wondering what is the actual Pro what is the AI challenge that you're currently having the teams go through to make this discovery engine as compelling as you want it to be you know when we got started with news feed I don't think we had we were years away from having the technology to be able to do the content understanding on each Post in the system understand what they're about understand what you care about and then be able to recommend you that in real time basically with very low latency content that you might be interested in from across um you know tens of millions or hundreds of millions of posts that are out there um if you think about it's actually a lot easier of a problem to basically take the several hundred things that your friends and the accounts that you follow have posted today and just to rank them in the order that you might want to see them and that that's and we're not necessarily recommending you content you you've chosen to follow those people and we're just making sure that okay if your cousin has a baby you're not going to miss that right right whereas like if someone who just posts a ton of stuff and you always ignore it um posts again that maybe that's like a little further down or something um so the the big shift I think that there are really two major Innovations um recently and and I think you're right that that Tick Tock really showed that a bunch of these things were possible so one is the emergence of like really short form video where it's when YouTube first came about people kind of called YouTube short form compared to TV shows right um now YouTube is kind of long form right um so which is kind of crazy and and we're old and um but um but I think that partially what Tick Tock has shown is that is that basically there is a medium which is even more short form video that's really powerful which I think Builds on some of the stories formats that we've seen over over the years but I mean that's that's a thing um then there's that's one Trend that I think is is just pretty clear like video is is becoming bigger across the apps I think I think it's something like 50 or more of the time spent on Facebook now is watching videos so you've been calling out this video trend for years yeah that's a known thing I think the ranking thing and the focusing on unconnectedness the AI technology to now not just be able to rank the content that you're following from friends but also really be able to actually do a very good job of of showing um of basically recommending content from the whole Corpus of content that's out there um and making that be good that's something that I think has only really started being possible in the last few years to do very well and um and the thing is um that doesn't just apply to video right so while while Tick Tock might just be doing that for video Facebook and Instagram are a lot of formats right so on on Facebook you have you know obviously there's um there's photos text links news groups um long form video all these different kinds of things stories um on Instagram there aren't all those formats but you have photo long form video stories a bunch of different things um and hashtags and the same basic discovery engine technology that makes it so that you can understand what a person might be interested in and understand the meaning of all these posts and then match that up so that way you're you're showing a person something that they might be interested in even if they never expressed an interest in that thing directly um that's going to apply to all these different formats I know that's a really interesting problem and a really interesting opportunity that I think we uniquely have to be able to go build um because it's over the history of our company we've had you know a number of competitors that focus on a single format and one of the things that I think we've done well is um taking on the challenge of blending the different formats together into a single feed that basically can make it so that you can get all the different content that you're interested in because it's not all all going to be video that you want to watch with sound on yeah um and you clearly can't just flip a switch on this like turning focusing on this changing feed into this discovery engine it sounds very complex yeah but it's also it's not a binary thing right so to your point about flipping a switch we don't have to um what's basically going to happen is that over the next year or two um what you're going to see is just we'll start showing more recommended content in the feed and we'll know that we're doing a good job um because we'll basically be able to test if we because the content in the beginning is going to displace some other content right and either displacing that content is going to lead to negative feedback from people and lead to you know people connecting with each other less and all the metrics that we that we focus on um or it will actually lead to people connecting more and being more satisfied with the product so in in the beginning we'll start off with you know whether it's 10 12 percent of of the content will be recommended but I actually think we'll get to a future um in the next couple of years where I don't know you might have 30 40 of the content that's recommended you're the people who you care about are always going to be really important yes so I don't think that um that's not going away right you'll you'll always uh really want to get that content too um and I think that'll be an important differentiator for for our services being able to do that in addition to the recommended content um but but I do think the amount of recommended content will ramp up while we're on Tick Tock um you were very early on to saying you know Tick Tock there's problems with the Chinese ownership we should be concerned about this you gave a speech a few years ago about this now everyone's speech wasn't about that but future is about no but you talked about it yeah the speech I think was broadly the Georgetown how people were how I felt like some of the calls to to censor more content we're getting to a zone that I felt was right was kind of dangerous and too much right and I'm not I'm not um you know a complete absolutist on this I think that there are there are you know are a lot of things that that are problematic that need to be moderated and dealt with but I also think that there's a line and and I think we need to make sure well where I was going to go is that well I think that the the tick tock fear has only grown stronger it's being talked about in DC all the time yeah um what do you think the US government should do about Tick Tock are you in favor of a ban are you in favor of a spin-off um I think you said that a band would be problematic at one point but what what what's your view on that um is this an area that the government should get into obviously would help you competitively but do you have other concerns about it I don't know what the solution is um even though I do think it's a it's a real question I mean I think in the U.S one of the things that that I think is is sort of interesting is in the U.S there's such a clear distinction between the private and public sector and the companies here operate independently and you know they're I think people understandably get upset if the integration is is too too much or if there's you know if there isn't good separation there but when I travel overseas one of the things that's surprising to me is in most other countries around the world um those sectors are Blended so much that they almost don't believe that America operates the way it does um in China more so than than any other country that I've been to it's it is very integrated right where the the notion that like an American company wouldn't just like obviously be working with the American government on every single thing is um is completely foreign there which I think does speak to um at least at least sort of how how how their Heather you stop writing so it's um so I don't know what that means I think that's a thing to to kind of to be aware of but this sounds like you haven't formed a real opinion on what should happen I I try to spend my time on things that I can um make an impact on um but um but well okay well so on the feed I haven't heard you talk about this reflect on this the last error of the feed was this thing you called meaningful social interactions and you were really prioritizing content that your close friends commented on and engaged with discovery engine feels like a departure from that and then in that you're introducing content that's not from your friends into the feed yeah is that a fair distinction so I think it's a different Loop um the way that people interact in the past was you know someone would post something and then there would be a lot of comments and feed right I think the way that social services have evolved is that most of your kind of real interactions at this point are in messaging so the way that feed is primarily creating value at this point is showing people content that then you go find and you send to your friends in messaging and have real interactions and messaging so from that perspective it used to matter more who posted the content that you saw in feed because if you're commenting on it in line you're interacting with the person who posted it now I think it's it's um it still matters in the sense that you want to know what's going on in your friends lives so if you're not getting updates from them um in in feed there's a set of P people who maybe aren't your closest friends and maybe it's like your second or third ring of of people that you that you care about but like they're not gonna you know personally message you to kind of update you on everything that you still want to know what's going on with them feed isn't is important for that but increasingly what we're seeing is in the flywheel around um around discovery engine is whether it's uh content from a Creator or content from a friend you see something interesting you send it to a group of friends um or a friend and then you you're kind of interacting there um and that actually does facilitate real interactions between people um but I know I'm sure you've seen this in your own usage absolutely I mean messaging is really where I think everyone has this feeling about how their feeds have changed and I guess what I'm trying to get from you is do you feel like that MSI the meaningful social interactions era did it what was your what's your take on how it went because I think you said at the time if it works it's going to lead to less time spent on Facebook and I'm okay with that I want it to be time well spent and now you're shifting into video which is a lot of consumption and a lot of viewing and yeah I guess so you're conflicting there are a few different things there um the meaningful social interactions shift that we made was when we started seeing this trend that basically people were starting to comment less at the same time people are watching more video and especially longer form video was displacing um a bunch of content from um from friends and people were actually writing it and saying hey I'm missing stuff for my friends because I'm watching all these videos so we're like okay two things we want to do one is we want to make sure you're not missing content from your friends because that's like that's what we're here to do right it's um yeah you can you can find some entertaining videos um here and you can do that in other places too but you're not going to find that the content from your friends and other places so we want to make sure we're we're um we're doing that well um so that was the comment that I made around even if we showed less video and time spent goes down which it did um that still seems like a good thing over time because we're here to help you interact um we did put in place a set of changes around um and we're constantly evolving the the algorithm in way that feed works but um but at the time we wanted to make sure there wasn't changes that we were making that were basically leading to the the this um Decline and commenting in line um so we wanted to make sure that we were building feed and optimizing for people interacting not just viewing content and passively consuming it um and you and I want do you feel like the discovery engine will get people to consume more passively is that a concern for you well no because of the the thing that I'm saying which is that most of the meaningful interactions

2022-10-15 10:16

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