After Facebook’s video strategy turned out to be a success, the social network giant’s CEO is now eager to completely revolutionize the way we communicate by mastering virtual reality technologies.
Discussing his company’s 2015 financial performance on Wednesday, among other things, Mark Zuckerberg underlined the importance of recently introduced video content in sharing ideas, thoughts and opinions between people. Nevertheless, the Facebook founder says he’s striving for more and wants to bring online communication to a whole new level.
In the conference call, Zuckerberg expanded, saying: “We are entering into a period where that’s going to increasingly be primarily videos, and we’re seeing huge growth there. But that’s not the end of the line, right? I mean, there’s always a richer way that people want to share and consume thoughts and ideas, and I think that immersive 3D content is the obvious next thing after video.”
This is where a company, Oculus VR, known for making virtual reality glasses and acquired last year for $2 billion, comes in handy. The idea is to use those glasses to “teleport” users though a Facebook post into a different place, enabling them to experience the joy of a big event they couldn’t attend. One example of these “new experiences” is a birthday party or a child’s first bike ride that could be shared on Facebook, so that users from various parts of the world felt as if they were there.
Zuckerberg promised that soon the technology would be so advanced it would give us a so-called “sense of presence.” During a Q&A session on his Facebook page a month ago, he said that “in the future we’ll probably still carry phones in our pockets, but I think we’ll also have glasses on our faces that can help us out throughout the day and give us the ability to share our experiences with those we love in completely immersive and new ways that aren’t possible today.”
However, he said there was no certainty how much time it will take to launch a new VR platform, adding that the process could drag on to 12 years. More importantly, for the first couple of years switching to VR won’t change much for Facebook users, since the technology will be brought into game and video industry for starters and only then go to social apps.
Zuckerberg reported that Facebook has made $4.04 billion in revenue, far in excess of last year’s $2.91 billion. Facebook’s net income has risen to $791 million from $719 million.
Its user base is also marked by rapid growth, with 968 million users logging on to Facebook per day in June, almost 100 million more than last year. At the same time, mobile users’ share keeps outdoing that of PC users, with 76 percent this year, a rise from 62 percent last year.