TODAY

TODAY   |  February 04, 2014

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook effect is ‘mind-blowing’

Facebook’s founder and CEO joins TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie in an exclusive interview to chat about the 10-year-anniversary of the social network that forever changed the way we connect. “It's so rare to have the opportunity to touch a billion people's lives,” he says.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this half hour with our exclusive interview with mark zuckerberg . today marks ten years for the social network that changed the way we connect. and i found zuckerberg feeling reflective and grateful on the mild anniversary of the website he founded in his dorm room one decade ago.

>> i could start by saying happy birthday. does it feel like ten years?

>> i don't know. you know, it's been a pretty amazing journey . and it's so rare to have the opportunity to touch a billion people's lives.

>> so the 29-year-old social media mogul mark zuckerberg , stratosphere financial success, a-list associates, cover story fame, a movie portrayal.

>> people want to go on the internet and check out their friends.

>> reporter: and an unmistakable mark on our culture.

>> thank you so much, facebook , for hosting this.

>> we now use friend as a verb. i don't know if i should thank you for that or yell at you.

>> i think it's good.

>> do you think about that cultural impact?

>> it's pretty mind-blowing to think about. i remember vividly having pizza with my friends a day or two after i opened up the first version of facebook . at the time, i thought, someone needs to build a service like this for the world. i think a lot of what it comes down to is we just cared more.

>> reporter: but facebook faced a critical moment almost two years ago. the momentary darling of wall street as the company went public, facebook then stumbled out of the gate. the stock tanked and the leadership of the company's young ceo within the cross hairs.

>> everyone's looking at you and saying what happened to facebook ?

>> we've gone through a number of periods where people didn't believe we could succeed at what we were trying to do. i've spent a lot of late nights pacing around my living room with teammates just trying to plot out what our next move can be in order to keep pushing forward on this mission. but there's always a next move.

>> the company's newest challenge, a steady drumbeat of stories that teens are leaving in droves for other fuzzier apps.

>> is that true?

>> facebook and instagram are both really popular with teens, in the u.s. and globally. i think what you're starting to see, there are all of these different ways people want to share and communicate. increasingly, people aren't going to get them all from one app.

>> if teens aren't on facebook as much as they used to be, does that matter? do you care if facebook is cool anymore?

>> we pay attention to every demographic in every country, right? we'll focus on building things teens will like and also things other folks will like.

>> when you read the headlines that say facebook 's for your grandma or your mom, does it bug you?

>> there are a lot of different things people have written over time . and one of the good pieces of news, we actually reported our results every quarter. and you can see that engagement is growing and we're helping more and more people connect.

>> facebook was in international headlines along with other major american tech companies after edward snowden revealed details of the nsa's online surveillance.

>> do you think it's a good thing these disclosures were made?

>> i think that the government made a lot of mistakes in terms of not being clear about what they were using information for. i think if you ask americans, they want the government to protect us, right. it's not that they don't want any of the stuff, but i think they want the government to be honest and clear about what's going on. i think that's the line that was missed here.

>> issues like global surveillance were far from zuckerberg 's mind when he was first interviewed on cnbc ten years ago.

>> here's you in 2004 .

>> hoping for, you know, maybe 4 400, 500 people, who knows where we're going next.

>> if you could tell that 19-year-old person anything, what would you tell him?

>> maybe marry priscilla sooner.

>> one of the biggest personal changes in the last decade, in 2012 , zuckerberg married his college sweetheart.

>> are kids in your future? something you talk about?

>> savannah, have you been talking to my mom?

>> yes, i have. she asked me to ask these questions. i guess no answer, sorry, i tried. listen, i really tried.

>> zuckerberg is aiming high, launching internet.org with the not so modest goal of connecting everyone across the globe to the internet. and the young multibillionaire is well on his way on a pledge to give half of his estimated $30 billion fortune to charity.

>> is there anything you like to splurge on?

>> i don't know. i mean, i wear the same outfit or at least a different copy of it almost every day. i got a new grill recently, does that count?

>> sure.

>> my wife and i love cooking.

>> if you could have done all of this, accomplish all of it without the whole world knowing your name, would you take that deal?

>> probably.

>> is it hard to be in the spotlight?

>> yeah. but i think some of these things actually help. i'm not sure it's actually possible to build something that has this kind of an impact on so many people without them knowing who you are and just getting to know what you care about. i'm just so grateful to have the opportunity that i've had to serve so many people. and i really think that the best is yet to come.

>> so facebook will be here in another ten years?

>> i hope so.

>> i just have to say, when al watched that piece, take away was, what kind of grill did he get?

>> a big green egg ? what did he get?

>> it's amazing to look back and think about how much our culture has been changed and transformed by this social network . if you want to see more of our interview, we put some of it online. you can check that out, as well.

>> what was that campus like, though? that looks amazing.

>> and not to focus on the food, but they have this food court you would die for.

>> you give me a hard time about asking about the grill.

>> i know. but that's what i was thinking.

>> it's like a college campus with incredibly smart and dedicated