Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has predicted that except for some necessary materials like clothes, chairs and buildings, many things in the future would be on mobile applications.
Zuckerberg spoke yesterday in Lagos, during an interactive session with over 100 developers and entrepreneurs.
According to him, more mobile applications are coming up almost on a daily basis as a result of the increasing popularity of the Internet.
The workshop is one of the series being held across the continent. It has held in Johannesburg, South Africa and Nairobi, Kenya. Zuckerberg who is believed to be visiting Africa for the first time, noted that he was excited to visit Nigeria and “witness firsthand the creativity and innovation that is happening in places like Yaba.”
As a means of taking the social media platform closer to the people, he said his company had been able to let people translate Facebook into their local languages. “We have already developed one for Hausa language, and we are looking forward to developing more for other languages,” he said.
On his choice of South Africa for his first office in Africa last year, Zuckerberg said it was powered by the number of users in the country, which he didn’t mention. He noted that “18 million Nigerians use Facebook,” and expressed hope that there would be increase when next he visits the country.
Zuckerberg disclosed that having taken over WhatsApp, there was no plan to merge it with Messenger, a similar application to WhatsApp, which connects with Facebook users. He maintained that both are from “two different communities.” While the objective for WhatsApp is to eliminate text messages between those who are basically close friends and family members, and is easier and faster, Messenger, is for friends on Facebook, who may not really be close to the extent of having each other’s mobile number, he clarified.
Zuckerberg who arrived in the country on Tuesday from Rome in Italy, where he met with Pope Francis, said there are so many investment opportunities in Nigeria. “ As such, I’m looking forward to doing more investments here.”
In a statement, the host of the workshop, Ime Archibong, who is Facebook’s Director of Global Product Partnerships, said: “When I came to Lagos back in May this year, I was really struck by the energy of the tech scene here and by how many people were building.
“As someone with strong links to Nigeria, I’ve been trying to expose Mark to this ecosystem for a while. I’m very excited for him to be able to come here and meet some of Nigeria’s top entrepreneurs and developers today.”
Among participants at the workshop were Opeyemi Awoyemi, Co-founder of jobberman.com, a blog created in 2008 to create awareness about the latest job vacancies and recruitment opportunities in the country, and was in 2012, ranked eighth in Forbes Magazine’s Top 20 Tech Startups in Africa.
Also in attendance was Olayinka Oluwakuse, founder of balogunmarket.ng, which enables people to order things directly from Balogun Market in Lagos, using WhatsApp, and have them delivered.
Founder of truppr.com, Bosun Tijani was also there.