Facebook

Photo: Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook

Facebook's Zuckerberg is here to rule us all. His weapon? Virtual Reality

Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Zuckerberg isn't just the most powerful man in the news business, he's often the news itself.

That's turned out to be entirely true at the hyper-prestigious Mobile World Congress (MWC), the flagship event for the mobile industry - and while we may be three days in, the showstopper of the entire event seems to have already happened on day one.

No, it isn't a phone - though there have been some great ones.

No, it wasn't a company presenting/holding an event - though there have been some amazing ones there, too.

It was Zuckerberg - on a Samsung platform.

Journalists were invited to watch a virtual reality demo using the new Samsung Gear VR headsets. Little did they know what was awaiting them when they were asked to take them off.

Suddenly, there was Zuckerberg, standing in the middle of the stage, in his all too familiar grey t-shirt.

There was, first, confusion. Then excitement. And then, naturally, chaos.

For all the insane buzz in the room, there was very little focus on his actual speech - which was all about the partnership between Facebook and Samsung's VR, and how Virtual Reality will be a gamechanger in every sense of the word. As he said to USA Today, "Imagine being able to sit in front of a campfire and hang out with friends anytime you want. Or being able to watch a movie in a private theater with your friends anytime you want. Imagine holding a group meeting or event anywhere in the world that you want. All these things are going to be possible."

And yet, the journalists and photographers in the room were less into the possibilities of the future and more into the photo-op of the moment: getting the best shot of one of the world's richest, and most influential, men.

Except the really defining photograph from Zuckerberg's appearance wasn't onstage - and it spawned a flood of sharp, funny and incisive tweets that show just how big a deal this man has come to be.

Think his influence is over-hyped? This article on The Verge may change your mind.

Sahil Bhalla

Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla