WhatsApp. Oculus VR. These are two of the most shocking acquisitions that social media juggernaut Facebook has picked up in the last few months. Some believe that the acquisition of Oculus VR is particularly noteworthy because it speaks to a device that could be as innovative as graphical user interfaces and computer mice and touchpads. Who is to say that Facebook won’t make use of such interfaces as those imagined by Oculus VR to bring the whole idea of social networking to a brand new level?
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was excited about helping Oculus VR reach an entirely new level of immersive gaming, but added that the company is going to give Facebook an edge in the world of immersive communication as well. He said in the post on his timeline that the world of VR and of communications is essentially going to leap forward, as people could join in on the fun of a basketball game courtside just from putting on a set of VR goggles. It is a stimulating sort of innovation that brings about images of Star Wars or Star Trek.
The acquisitions of WhatsApp and Oculus VR are about to launch Zuckerberg and his vision of Facebook away from the social media world and into a whole new notion of connectivity and creativity. People can have actual meetings where it will seem as though the person is sitting across the table from you – because, in the world of virtual reality, there is the definite sense that someone is sitting across from you, or next to you at the basketball games, or at the movies.
However, this just seems like the takeover of a small startup by a larger corporation with seemingly endless supplies of cash. Zuckerberg has certainly done well for himself since Facebook bowed 10 years ago in his college dorm room. He has moved far beyond the college dorm with Facebook. As a multi-billion dollar corporation, Zuckerberg has become one of the youngest CEOs on the market today, and it’s small wonder that he would be taken with new toys such as Oculus VR.
It will certainly shift the world of social media as we know it. Once Oculus VR comes into more commonplace use, gone will be the days of chatting or IM’ing each other; people will be able to simply slip on a pair of glasses and literally have coffee with their friends, real time. Sure, their friends may not be there physically, but for all intents and purposes, it will very much seem as though this is the case.
Facebook’s recent purchases of WhatsApp and of Oculus VR will go a long way towards changing the face of interactivity as we know it. Zuckerberg continues to prove he knows a good thing when he sees it, and he is determined to keep Facebook on the cutting edge of social technology.