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Mark Zuckerberg answers questions live on Facebook

Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook

Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg conducted his first public Q&A on Facebook Thursday afternoon.

Questions started pouring in as soon as the event was announced Oct, 30, sparking spirited discussions among thousands of users even before Zuckerberg weighed in. Users were invited to "Ask me a question below in the comments, or vote on a question you want me to answer by liking it. I'll be answering questions for about an hour, and will try to get through as many as I can."

The first question Zuckerberg addressed was asked by Hailey from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Why did you force us to install Facebook messenger?

Zuckerberg acknowledged that "it was a big ask to ask everyone in the community to install one app." But he explained that messaging needs to be fast and available to everyone in order to provide a good experience, and that "each app can only do one thing well." Messaging is more widely used than social networking and is one of Facebook's highest priorities. Zuckerberg said the company decided to separate the news feed from messaging so that each function could do what it does best.

Laurie from Provo, Utah, asked about the movie "The Social Network": "How accurate is the movie versus real life story?"

Zuckerberg phrased his answer carefully: "It was a very interesting experience to watch a movie supposedly about my life." He said that "writing code and building a company and a product is not very glamorous." If the movie were really accurate, it would be" a movie of me sitting at a computer coding for two hours."

He said the producers "went out of their way to get interesting details right." But he found some of the plot elements - like the idea that he built Facebook to attract girls - to be "kind of hurtful" since he was already dating the woman who is now his wife before he ever started the company. And he noted that the producers "made up" that an "appletini was my favorite drink - nobody ever heard of it."

When the film came out, "we knew everybody at Facebook would want to see it. We took the whole company out to see it the day it came out," he said.

A question about why Zuckerberg always wears the same shirt elicited many laughs. He replied that he wore the same type of shirt daily so that he did not have to waste psychological energy on deciding what to wear; he'd rather remain focused on connecting people. Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg assured the online audience that he had more than one gray T-shirt.

Kalin in Leeds, England, asked what features Facebook has developed but not released. Zuckerberg said that their process is to introduce products in a "beta test where we roll something out and 10,000 or 100,000 people like it, we see if they like it, and if they prefer it, we continue to roll it out more broadly." Sometimes features that beta testers don't like get reworked.

One of Zuckerberg's colleagues noted that when you design something for Facebook, you are designing for a billion people. You can be disappointed if you build something "that only 100 million will love."