The Virtual Social Network

Experience the impossible. Interact with those that are not around you, experience their experiences. Facebook intends to take sharing to a new level with its 2B USD acquisition of the virtual reality headset company, Oculus.

Facebook intends to be at the forefront of a new medium of interaction; virtual reality. Its acquisition is symbolic. Facebook embodies openness and sharing among individuals rather than exclusivity and secrecy. Its purchase of Oculus will put a technology that will greatly disrupt the way we live in the hands of social networks rather than individuals, benefitting communities rather than just ourselves. The social network revolution has allowed technology products to reach optiminal distrubution in a fast, efficient manner. Facebook’s acquisition will hopefully accelerate the ability for Oculus products to reach distribution and benefit the mass market in a quicker manner than other innovations (electric cars for example that have taken many years to reach mass market consumers).

I remember sitting at university and telling my parents how I used a podcast to watch my lectures. They were bemused. I could record, rewind, learn and watch when I liked. But it seems we are about to go 180. I am going to go back to the classroom to learn, but not physically, via a pair of googles. Rather than watching the sport on TV, I am going to virtually be there. Rather than using virtual reality to escape into a world of our own, Facebook’s culture and vision (here is Mark Zuckerberg’s FB post about it) will allow us to interact virtually while sharing these experiences with one another.

Critics will say this will create a more lazy society, but to me this will transform the actions that we currently perform via the TV,PC, tablet and mobile. It will disrupt and transform the activities that are already embedded in our daily lives such as watching a music video, a live sports event or lecture on YouTube.

Facebook is the first mover in dominating a market that will play a major role in our lives. Their ability to dominate our digital ecosystem is becoming ever more apparent. With the acquisitions of Instagram, Whatsapp and Move along with other product enhancements; our mobile experience, without us intentionally knowing is becoming more and more integrated through a Facebook platform. It will be interesting to watch the stock performance of FB over the next 18 months as we see mobile users interact with their Facebook mobile products in a similar manner to how Microsoft dominated our PC ecosystem in the 90s.



Up Next:

The evolution of the social web

The evolution of the social web