Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is willing to spend any amount of money to spread Internet access around the world, a move he hopes will develop local economies and ultimately help Facebook’s bottom line.
Speaking at an event Friday in Mexico City organized by telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, Zuckerberg told the crowd that Facebook will play a central role in the future of the Internet, according to SiliconValley.com.
“We feel a big responsibility to bring the Internet to more people,” Zuckerberg said. “Even if it means that Facebook has to spend billions of dollars over the next decade making this happen.”
Zuckerberg also promoted WhatsApp, calling it the future “global text messaging platform.” Facebook announced it would acquire WhatsApp for nearly $19 billion in February.
“I think we’re going to have an opportunity for WhatsApp to connect two or three billion people because by working with us they’re just now going to have so many more resources and opportunities,” Zuckerberg stated, The Wall Street Journal blog Digits, reported.
WhatsApp announced last month that it had acquired 600 million users worldwide. Facebook reportedly has around 1.3 billion monthly active users.
According to Bloomberg, Zuckerberg was just one of the high-powered guests appearing at Slim’s charity event on Friday. Hilary Clinton, Chris Christie, soccer star Ronaldinho, and actor Antonio Banderas also joined in the event.