The 30-year-old CEO compared the event to Facebook's weekly Friday open Q&A with employees.
"It's not only a way for people to ask me questions and learn how I'm thinking about running the company and what we should be doing, but it's also a really important way for me to learn from our employees," Zuckerberg said. "That gives me valuable information that can help us build better things."
A 'Dislike' Button?
Zuckerberg took questions selected from responses to his Facebook post soliciting questions, people who sent in video questions, and members of the live audience at the event Thursday at the company's Menlo Park, California, headquarters. The event was shown live via Webcast.
Most notably, Zuckerberg said the company was considering creating a version of a "Dislike" button similar to its ubiquitous "Like" button, but with a few differences.
"There are two things that it can mean, and we're considering doing one and not the other," Zuckerberg said in response to an audience member. "The 'Like' button is very valuable because it's a way for you to very quickly express a positive emotion when someone puts themselves out there or shares something."
Some users have requested a button they can use to publicly register their dislike for certain content, similar to the thumbs down button available on YouTube. "That's not something that we think is good for the world," Zuckerberg said. "I don't think there needs to be a voting mechanism on Facebook for whether posts are good or bad."
On the other hand, he acknowledged that users often want to express more nuanced responses to certain posts.
"Oftentimes, people tell us they don't feel comfortable pressing 'Like,' because like isn't the appropriate sentiments when someone has lost a loved one or is talking about a difficult issue."
The CEO said the company was evaluating new ways that users could express support or empathy in a more nuanced way.
What's in a Name?
He also fielded questions from users irritated that they could not change their usernames. The company experienced some blow-black earlier this year when it decided not to allow certain artists and performers to create personal pages under the names of their stage personas. Facebook limits each person to just one username.
Zuckerberg drew a sharp contrast between Facebook and other online communities that permit users to have multiple online identities, which he characterized as being less reflective of the real world.
"On Facebook, most people refer to themselves by their real name," he said. "That's a really important part of the culture."
Asking everyone to use their real name helps tie Facebook to the real world, he explained. Requiring them to register with their name also prevents people from hiding behind the anonymity of the Web for nefarious purposes. However, he also suggested that the company was open to reviewing its policies to accommodate users who are commonly known by identities other than their birth names.
Zuckerberg also addressed some new services with which the company is experimenting. One such service, called Safety Check, allows users to quickly inform their loved ones of their status during natural disasters and other catastrophes. Zuckerberg said the company launched its first pilot for Safety Check in the Philippines last week, where a super typhoon made landfall on Saturday.
The CEO also responded to questions from overseas about how soon it would be bringing Graph Search to other languages, such as Spanish. Facebook announced earlier this week that its new search functionality is finally ending beta testing and would be rolling out on desktops and iOS devices in English this week.
"We want to get it right first," Zuckerberg said. "It's one of the things people ask us for the most."