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Mark Zuckerberg says he could actually work with arch-rival Google

Well, that was unexpected.

Mark Zuckerberg speaking last night
Mark Zuckerberg speaking last night
Image: David Jensen/PA

BOTH FACEBOOK AND Google have opened the doors to a partnership with two of their biggest names welcoming the idea.

At a keynote Q&A with Jessi Hempel of WIRED, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked would he entertain the idea of a partnership with Google. His response: “Sure”

This is interesting considering that earlier, Google’s Sundar Pichai was asked the same question about whether they would team up, saying that they would be happy to partner once the right tools were in place.

Google’s internet projects include Project Loom, which uses balloons to beam WiFi to rural areas, and Project Titan, a solar-powered WiFi drones which it will begin testing in a couple of months with the same objective.

Facebook has already used Google Search as part of its internet.org app so an opportunity to speed up their respective aims would be welcome. Also Google is focusing mostly on the physical aspect as Pichai mentioned during his keynote talk. With that and internet.org’s data capabilities – Zuckerberg mentioned a few times that people love to use Facebook and messaging – it could bring such an objective from second to third gear.

Although this wouldn’t exactly happen in the short-term, one of the other panelists accidentally referred to Facebook as Google resulting in laughter from the crowd. Zuckerberg gave a small smirk before moving on.

IMG_20150302_180401 A packed conference hall waiting for the keynote to start. Source: TheJournal.ie

Zuckerberg, who was speaking at Mobile World Congress, gave an update on the services of Internet.org, his project to connect the world. For now, it established partnerships with providers saying “we have those partnerships and we’re proud of the work that we’ve done.”

These partnerships were very important considering that developing such infrastructure is expensive, that means growing the industry faster and allows internet.org faster.

It was a somewhat subdued affair for Zuckerberg, who kept on topic and didn’t deviate from his traditional answers of internet.org and Facebook’s mission, even when pressed. Also, he gave short answers at times, highlighting just how much of a balancing act he had to play.

This became more apparent when members of the telecom industry came up, as he repeated the same answers: We want to connect the world and more importantly help carriers (and businesses) make money. Unlike last year, the aim of this talk wasn’t to reveal new information, it was to show potential partners that Facebook cares about making them money. And there were a lot of them in the front row.

When asked why he wants to take on such a mission, Zuckerberg gave the same answer as always,”We care because this is our mission to. We want people to connect.”

“[when visiting developing markets], what strikes me is the lengths people will go to to get connectivity… we’re really serious about this, we have these services that people love and want to use and want to get onto the internet to use it”

Quinton O’Reilly is at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona all this week. Follow all the goings-on at @TheJournalTech.

Read: These ex-Nokia heads believe they can take on Android head-first >

Read: One of Google’s top men took time to praise one of its frenemies >

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Quinton O'Reilly

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