Facebook CEO Zuckerberg Uses Latest Appearance To Triple Augmented Reality And The Income-Driven Future Of Creators’ Next Reality
Facebook’s annual earnings call on Wednesday came as no big surprise, that is, if you took everything at face value.
However, if you read between the lines and pay close attention to the very specific and intentional language used by the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, then a few things stood out that revealed exactly where Facebook intends to take its nearly $ 3 billion. users around the world. Next year.
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When it comes to Facebook revenue, you won’t be surprised to know that things are going pretty well, with revenue of $ 26.17 billion for the quarter, up 48% from last year. ‘last year. But you’re here for AR, so let’s go.
For starters, Zuckerberg immediately made it clear that his main areas of interest right now were augmented reality and virtual reality (in that order), as his very first comments were in those areas.
“Let’s talk about building the next computing platform. I believe augmented and virtual reality is going to allow a deeper sense of presence and social connection than any existing platform,” Zuckerberg said. “They are going to play an important role in how we interact with computers in the future. So we’ll continue to invest heavily in creating the best experiences here, and that’s a big part of our R&D budget growth. “
These broad strokes are familiar refrains from the hallways of Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto, but in recent months the company has backed up its stated commitments to AR and VR with concrete actions.
“This quarter, we shared more about our future investments, including neural interfaces to interact with AR. And we started testing our new avatar system, which will be a key part of how people work. express and connect, ”Zuckerberg said.
“Augmented and Virtual Reality, I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, because I think it’s kind of the holy grail of providing a sense of presence and the kind of social experiences that you would like to create. So, now, and I guess for the entire history of the company we’ve been forced into a web browser, and now in some cases these increasingly restrictive mobile app rules. But, I think this future environment where you going to be able to feel really present with someone else, it’s going to be really powerful. And it’s going to unlock a bunch of experiences that we’ve wanted to build for a long time, and that’s what really excites me. “
Zuckerberg’s mention of using immersive technology to extend Facebook’s reach beyond mobile apps and web browsers makes sense, but it was a little odd that he never mentioned the other platform. – hardware form his company uses to deliver AR: Portal.
Besides smartphones and laptops, Common TV, the anchor of the Portal system, is one of the most ubiquitous consumer funnels, designed to deliver more AR content, especially in this new era of remote working and of socialization. But there was no mention of the product, so maybe it’s time to start wondering how much the company is committed to really growing the Portal product experience going forward.
Conversely, Zuckerberg has shown unusual boldness in continuing to hype the company’s next AR smart glasses. Currently, they are known as Project Aria and are only worn internally by Facebook employees. Additionally, the company has promised to unveil its smart glasses design collaboration with Ray-Ban later this year.
“I think virtual reality, the form factor constraints, I think, are a little less than what you’re going to have in augmented reality, where in virtual reality, I think you have to get a high quality wireless experience. . in augmented reality, you’re really going to need a pair of glasses that look like normal-looking glasses for that to be accepted by the general public, ”Zuckerberg said. “And that, I think, is going to be one of the toughest technical challenges of the decade, it’s basically about installing a supercomputer in the frame of glasses. I think once that is achievable, the potential will be quite large. “
But let’s be honest, aside from the success of the Oculus game, one of the reasons Facebook is so excited about AR that the future is because of its ability to place a virtual layer over the real world to allow for experiments and analysis. commercial and advertising. Zuckerberg spoke about this vision, in his own way, during the call.
“Now it’s still mostly games. But, when we started this journey, a lot of the reasons I said I thought it made sense for us to invest in this area is because I expect virtual and augmented reality to be one of the most social platforms that are being built, “Zuckerberg said.” And the fact that a number of the most engaging experiences on platforms today ‘hui are social and that a lot of the best games are social, I think, is really promising. But also looking at it in terms of productivity, and like I mentioned, it’s just really promising that you see the first signs of it becoming a larger platform. “
I noted the lack of a mention of Portal, but what Zuckerberg’s sunscreen-laden lips also lacked was any mention of Spark AR, the company’s augmented reality creation platform. Still, it’s clear from his comments that Spark AR will be one of the tools used on Facebook, Instagram, and Portal to give creators a way to make a living by engaging and populating the social media giant’s platforms.
“I think a positive vision for the future of the economy is one that allows more people to do creative work they like rather than jobs they don’t have. And to get there, we need to develop the tools for creation and monetization. to support this creative economy, ”Zuckerberg said. “People create an incredibly diverse set of content across our departments, from long-form writing and live conversations to documentaries and augmented reality filters. And our goal is to support all human expressions and be the best platform for millions of creators. to earn a living. “
Ultimately, as fascinating as augmented reality and virtual reality may be, what Zuckerberg seems to envision is a world of avatars, doors of immersive material content, and production tools that will create an autonomous loop of creation and of commerce that allows Facebook to sit back and just make sure the system doesn’t break.
“Over time, I expect augmented and virtual reality to unlock tremendous value, both in people’s lives and in the economy at large,” Zuckerberg said. “There is still a long way to go here, and most of our investments to do this work are ahead of us. But, I think the feedback we get from our products gives us more confidence that our forecast for the future here will happen and that we are focusing on the right areas. “
Oh, and one more thing … what about cryptocurrency? Facebook’s digital token, once called Libra, but now known as Diem, was another topic that was not fully covered by Zuckerberg in his recent comments. Asked about digital payments in this new creator ecosystem, Zuckerberg said, “Payments, things like Facebook Pay and possibly Diem soon, I think that’s going to be a pretty big thing too … these plates. -shapes are going to be very important. In a platform that we build like this, we want to make payments very easy to make the economics work for developers. “
While the current Bitcoin surge has captured most of the crypto’s attention, stablecoins like Facebook’s upcoming Diem will almost certainly be the key to unlocking much of the value of AR and Internet virtual worlds. VR on the Facebook platform. NFTs have now shown us that the public is ready for a non-Bitcoin (Ethereum) crypto asset as a unit of virtual asset trading. But when Facebook puts its social media behind its Diem coin, the potential for virtual assets and commerce on Instagram and Facebook to be exploited in new ways could be explosive.
For now, Facebook is moving wisely and talking cautiously about its Diem plans, but if Spark AR is the augmented reality toolkit, and Facebook and Instagram are the big target AR platforms, then Diem could be the fuel. , oil, digital lubricant. that will give a boost to Facebook’s AR and VR vision on the back of digital commerce. And that’s all before we get Facebook smart glasses.