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January 28, 2016

Why You Should Care About Facebook’s Attention to Virtual Reality and Mobile Apps

Cigars were lit late last year as Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla, welcomed their first child. Zuckerberg, who had been open about his family’s struggles with fertility, took two months of paternity leave, but that hasn’t meant a slow down in his company. Facebook has started 2016 with big plans. The tech giant (and the only social network in the$300 billion tech club) has announced a new focus on virtual reality and mobile apps.

Why Now?

Over the past few years, Facebook has acquired several big companies. They purchased Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. They acquired WhatsApp in 2014. They bought Oculus, a virtual reality company, in 2014, and Gear VR, another virtual reality product with Samsung and Oculus. These acquisitions have been slow to grow but this year, plans are changing.

Facebook’s Dip Into the Virtual Reality Pool

Virtual reality might seem farfetched to many people, but it’s expected to quickly rise as one of the hottest topics of 2016. Facebook anticipated this emerging trend, which is why they were one of the early tech companies to back the new products. It’s not going to be an instant success. The founder of Oculus said the only way to get millions of people using virtual reality is to bring the cost down and the quality up. This March, the first product from Oculus will launch. Although consumers will be limited to the early adopter crowd, the tech companies will use this time to gather feedback. Facebook’s ears will perk up and listen to the good, bad and ugly of the virtual reality trend. Based on the initial reaction, Facebook will know what needs to change to continue inching this emergent product toward mainstream usage. Why does this matter to you? Savvy businesses will have a unique opportunity to get in early with this new tech trend. Think virtual marketplaces and stronger connections to potential buyers. By paying attention to this now, you’ll position yourself to dive in head first with a solid marketing strategy as usage picks up.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps aren’t anything new – especially for Facebook. Messenger, Groups, Instagram and WhatsApp are just a handful of what Facebook owns. This year, they’re expanding their reach by releasing a few new ones. Moments is Facebook’s new attempt at a photo storage and sharing app. With so many of its users sharing photos on their network, it only makes sense. Now, after the introduction of Facebook Live, a separate video app could also be created, although no plans for this have been made public. It’s pure speculation. Why does this matter to you? Facebook’s continued dive into developing mobile apps shows a clear need in the market. Consumers want these apps. They want easy access to useful services on their phone. Your company can provide the same by creating and marketing your mobile app, gaining more customers through better technology.

Takeaways

If you want to get a head start on emerging trends and consumer demands, look no further than Facebook. This company has been on the forefront of innovation since it started in the famous Harvard dorm room.
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