In that interview with CNBC's Becky Quick, the future billionaire described his website as a place to "find some interesting information about people," and "an online directory that connects people through universities and colleges through their social networks there."
Over the years, Zuckerberg conducted more and more TV interviews touting Facebook as the online platform where users can stay connected with their friends and family. In 2006, Zuckerberg told NBC's "The Today Show" that he started Facebook because he "just figured it would be really cool if there was some website that I could go to that would tell me a bunch of information about my friends and the people around me."
"Cool" indeed. In 2008, Facebook made Zuckerberg a billionaire (the world's youngest in fact), according to Forbes, which estimated his worth then at $1.5 billion. Facebook was reported to be valued around $15 billion at the time, but according to Forbes, investors thought that was high.
By 2010, Zuckerberg said Facebook's focus was "helping people share and helping people stay connected with their friends and family and the community around them. We think that if we do that then more people will want to use the service and we'll be able to build a great business," he told CNBC.
Of course, Facebook did build a massive business from its users' eagerness to connect with one another and share their personal information online. Now, Zuckerberg and Facebook are facing increased criticism over online privacy issues and just how the company leverages users' data to make billions of dollars each year (Facebook reported over $55.8 billion in advertising revenue in 2018).
Last year, Zuckerberg took responsibility for any privacy issues at Facebook, including allowing third-party companies to access users' data without permission, with the CEO calling the issues "a huge mistake, my mistake."
Zuckerberg also explained, yet again, that the underlying purpose of sharing personal information on Facebook is supposed to be connecting people. "We use that [information] to help people connect," he said in an April 2018 call with reporters. "We run ads to make it a free service everyone in the world can afford."
Here's what Mark Zuckerberg says he would do if Facebook hadn't worked out
Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!