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Facebook has some big plans for the next ten years

Artificial intelligence and augmented reality, anyone?

Oculus Rift, the VR headset, is seen as a long-term bet for the company.
Oculus Rift, the VR headset, is seen as a long-term bet for the company.
Image: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

WITH FACEBOOK POSTING a $3.2 billion in revenue last night as part of its latest earnings call, the focus was on how mobile was driving the company forward.

Yet the most interesting aspect of the call wasn’t what’s happening now, but its plans for other services like Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger and Oculus VR (the company it bought back in February).

At the conference call last night, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg split up the company’s plans into three, five and ten year segments, alongside the usual plan of connecting the world

“We’re going to prepare for the future by investing aggressively,” said Zuckerberg. “The strength of the business today is putting us in a strong position to invest in the future.”

For the first three, it will focus on improving things for existing communities (i.e. advertisers), and mentioned how certain trends like the ice-bucket challenge show how much of a reach it has (ice-bucket challenge videos were viewed 10 billion times on the site).

The five year plan sees a focus on turning apps like Facebook Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp into their own businesses, mentioning that he wants them to reach one billion connected users. The aim is to make Facebook the central point for all of them, calling it a “cross-platform platform”, while each one caters for different needs.

It’s the ten year goal that is the most intriguing as the focus is to build the next-generation computing platform, which could heavily involve Oculus, the virtual-reality company that it acquired for $2 billion earlier this year, and augmented reality.

Artificial intelligence would play a part in this vision, something Zuckerberg originally mentioned at his public appearance at Tsinghua University in Beijing last week.

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Also included in that ten year plan is Internet.org, its initiative to connect the world to the web, and more importantly Facebook itself.

More than 864 million people use Facebook every day, and more than 1.12 billion access the site through smartphones or tablets every month.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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