×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Zuckerberg: Facebook Will Continue to ‘Invest Heavily’ in Virtual Reality

Social giant closed $2 billion acquisition of VR company Oculus this week

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social giant — which completed the $2 billion acquisition of virtual-reality company Oculus this week — will continue to “invest heavily” in building out VR and related technologies over the next several years.

“There are huge opportunities to build the next generation of computing platforms,” Zuckerberg said on Facebook’s second-quarter earnings call.

The rationale: Facebook has “mostly been a company that has played on top of the mobile foundations that other companies have built,” he said. Facebook was late to the mobile space, but has seen strong growth in its mobile business in recent quarters and the segment now represents the majority of its ad revenue.

With VR, Zuckerberg sees a chance to define the next set of computing platforms. “We’re going to spend a lot and invest heavily to get it right over the long term,” he said. He added that Facebook’s development of artificial-intelligence technologies will be part of what the company sees as a future platform for communications.

The Oculus Rift headset was designed to provide an immersive experience for videogames. Facebook — which bought two-year-old Oculus before it launched the VR system as a consumer product — plans to extend it to other areas, including communications, media and entertainment, and education. The acquisition has some VR enthusiasts worried that Facebook will derail the startup’s original videogame focus.

SEE ALSO: Oculus Rift Just Put Facebook in the Movie Business

Zuckerberg also touted the potential for autoplay video on the website, as providing more engagement with users. In addition to the video ads Facebook has started selling — to advertisers including NBC — the company want to ramp up “organic” video content from users, he said.

Facebook will remain a place for short-form video, he noted: “You are not going to come to Facebook to watch a movie or a TV show — that’s long-form stuff.” The value of the site is providing “unique types of content that you can’t get anywhere else,” citing Shakira’s thank-you video to fans when she topped 100 million “likes” on Facebook last week.

Facebook topped Wall Street expectations for Q2, posting revenue of $2.91 billion, up 61% year over year, and of $791 million, up 138% versus $333 million in the year-earlier period. Mobile ad revenue approximately 62% of advertising revenue for the most recent quarter, up from approximately 41% from Q2 2013.

As of June 30, Facebook had 1.32 billion monthly active users overall, up 14% year over year, and mobile active monthly users at 1.07 billion, an increase of 31%.

Also on the earnings call, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg noted that the 2014 FIFA World Cup was a high-activity event for the service, with 350 million users worldwide generating 3 billion interactions related to the soccer tourney. She called out an advertising deal with McDonald’s, in which soccer players were represented by French fries, which was seen by 125 million Facebook users.

Facebook now has 1.5 million active advertisers, with more than 30 million small businesses hosting pages on the site, Sandberg said. With its recent acquisition of video-advertising technology firm LiveRail company, Facebook wants to expand video ads to publishers off the social site, Sandberg said.

Meanwhile, CFO Dave Wehner said Facebook’s $16 billion acquisition of mobile-messaging firm WhatsApp is still expected to close by the end of the year.

More Digital

  • Martin Kon - YouTube

    YouTube Hires Consultant Martin Kon as VP of Strategy

    Google’s YouTube tapped Martin Kon, who has worked as a tech, media, and telecoms consultant for more than two decades, as VP of strategy. Kon, based at YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., reports to chief business officer Robert Kyncl. Kon will work with YouTube senior execs to help formulate the long-term vision of the [...]

  • Sonos One

    Sonos Sues Competitor Bluesound for Patent Infringement

    Smart speaker maker Sonos has sued Lenbrook Industries, the company behind the audio brand Bluesound, for patent infringement. It’s the second such lawsuit from Sonos against a competitor, which has also been using its patents to gain concessions from the makers of voice assistants. In the lawsuit filed late last week in a California court, [...]

  • tubi tv roku

    Ad-Supported Video Service Tubi Tops 20 Million Monthly Active Users

    Ad-supported video service Tubi broke its own audience records in May: Tubi, which positions itself as a free alternative to Netflix, surpassed 20 million monthly active users last month, the company said Monday. The service’s users viewed more than 94 million hours of programming in May, according to Tubi, which also claimed to have brought [...]

  • First Media - Chris Athanassopoulos, Jocelyn

    First Media Names Chris Athanassopoulos CFO, Jocelyn Johnson as SVP of Brand

    First Media, the media company focused on millennial women audiences whose brands include BabyFirst TV, announced two new members of its executive team as it eyes expansion in 2019. Chris Athanassopoulos, previously Twentieth Century Fox’s VP finance for worldwide TV distribution, has joined First Media as its chief finance officer. (First Media’s previous CFO, Karl [...]

  • Chris Thorne - Beats

    Apple's Beats by Dre Taps Chris Thorne as Chief Marketing Officer

    Beats by Dr. Dre, Apple’s audio-products subsidiary, announced Chris Thorne — whose past gigs have included stints at EA and Jessica Alba’s The Honest Co. — as its chief marketing officer. Thorne takes on the CMO role after the departure earlier this year of Jason White, formerly Beats’ EVP and global head of marketing, who [...]

  • 76th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS --

    Viacom Partners With Tyler Perry for BET Plus Streaming Service

    Viacom’s BET Networks has teamed with Tyler Perry to create a subscription streaming service that combines the prolific auteur’s library of movies and TV shows with BET’s programming vault. The service dubbed BET Plus will bow in the fall with a handful of original series and productions and a deep library offering that will be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content