Ever since Mark Zuckerberg started his university membership site, that would lead to Facebook a few years later; he’s never stopped planning out the box. Did you think Facebook was all set up? You were wrong! As Mark said in his visit to Oculus Connect Summit in Los Angeles about a year ago: “There’s always a richer, more immersive medium to experience the world”. His words definitely matched an avant-garde business philosophy, the same one that made Facebook what it nowadays is. And he was completely right, after all; because he who does not take risks, gains nothing.
Virtual reality: a lengthily craved ambition
Virtual Reality is already a reality. In fact, it’s not the first time that Facebook has shown its interest in VR. “There are certain things that you know will happen in the future” Zuckerberg said “The real challenge is figuring out what’s possible now and how exactly to make it happen”
From the beginning, Facebook’s CEO has known well where to draw his attention; and it seems that Facebook is almost ready to take the leap to VR.
The acquisition of Oculus Rift took place in 2012; but the invention was not yet ready to be launched. However, Oculus’ renovated version of its standalone all-in-one virtual reality headset, Oculus Go; has turned to be exactly was Zuckerberg expected.
Facebook’s first try on the hardware industry
Even for giants as Facebook, Google or Microsoft, VR is a real challenge. Do not forget, they all are, software oriented companies. While virtual reality is already happening in some developed areas in Asia such as South Korea, China or Japan; Western hardware industries are not yielding the same results and virtual reality hardware is thus, a frustrating task which is delaying software owners’ expectations. Samsung has positioned itself as a real threat in the industry of VR and Oculus seems to be Facebook’s most powerful weapon for maintaining its global Social Media leadership, with the Asian WeChat hot on its heels.
Oculus: a strategic partner
The challenge associated to VR is that it cannot just be very good; it has to be perfect! And, who is able to reach perfection in VR? The answer is: Only a select few. The problem is that software companies don’t just need highly advanced hardware systems; they also need competitive costs for innovations to be affordable enough to reach masses and conquer the market. Things have been stuck in regards; but everything suggests that something very big is starting to take shape.
Let us now talk about Oculus. Apparently meeting all requirements, Oculus was certainly the perfect match for Facebook; an innovative American brand specialised in virtual reality. Oculus has been, since it was bought in 2014, one of the most encouraging divisions for Facebook as a brand.
Facebook’s decision to acquire Oculus and develop its own virtual products seeks to avoid future dependency on VR hardware and mobile devices; a smart move leaving certain brands as Apple or Samsung out of the Social Media game
Looking ahead: gamification and live-virtual communications
This gives rise to the following question:
Why is VR so important to the Social Media industry?
Well then, VR is, in fact, key for the future of Social Media or, at least, this is what visionary businessmen Zuckerberg, fervently believes in. Facebook’s success lies essentially in its business concept, which is, the idea of a friends’ network. Facebook proposed a new and innovative communication model, that has literally changed the way we relate to others. Communication change is constant and unstoppable. Communications are now instant, regardless of geographic location. Not just that, images and videos are sharable, allowing a much closer communication. Virtuality is on its way. Having a live chat with a virtual representation of a friend in a chosen 3D backdrop, does not seem that crazy after all. What would have people born a few centuries ago thought about Facebook? Perhaps, that it would be completely impossible! Virtuality is the future. It’s thus, understandable that Zuckerberg had been trying hard to adopt the virtual technology. It’s not his intent to give in that soon!
On the other hand, Social Media is also about enjoying, and Facebook’s games such as Farmville or Texas Holdem Poker for example, have been always a strategic asset. It’s great to connect with friends while playing video games, isn’t it? Virtual reality is, without doubt, the future of video games and, therefore; it is essential for Facebook to integrate it in its social platform as soon as possible.