Facebook is best known globally as an online social network. But behind this image, the American multinational is also one of the main players in the virtual reality sector. Here is everything you need to know about the firm.
Facebook… we often hear this name in the world of virtual reality. Although it is known in particular as an online social network, it is a real player in the latter. In fact, to integrate this world, he acquired a lot of companies specializing in this field. Oculus VR is of course one of the best known of them. Here is everything you need to know about the American multinational.
Beginning and history of Facebook
Based in Menlo Park, California, Facebook was founded in 2004 as an online social network. It was founded by students from Harvard University, including Mark Zuckerberg of course, but also Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCollum and Eduardo Saverin.
At the beginning, the site was reserved for the students of this university. It opened a little later to other American and international high schools and universities. It’s only by September 2006 that it has become accessible to the general public, more specifically to anyone over the age of 13. The same year he released his API or Application Programming Interface.
From that moment on, it grew rapidly to become the largest social network in the world. In 2012, it had no less thanone billion users. Half of them used it every day.
The functionalities of the social network
Always, Facebook is accessible free of charge as long as there is an internet connection. In fact, these are the advertising on the website that allow the firm to earn money.
Once on the site, any new user therefore has the possibility of create profiles, but not only. He can also upload photos and join pre-existing groups. He can even create new ones if he wishes.
When registered on the social network, the individual can post photos, images and videos. He can also share documents and files with his friends. And of course he can exchange messages with them. He also has the opportunity to react and comment on any content posted by other members. They can do the same with his.
The subsidiaries of the firm
Over time, Facebook has acquired quite a few companies, including of course companies specializing in virtual reality and artificial intelligence. The list even includes a manufacturer of solar powered drones and a studio that has developed an app for detecting emotions.
Among the best companies that Zuckerberg’s firm has acquired is Instagram, which it bought in 2012, and which cost it around 820 million euros. There’s also Instagram (bought out for $ 1 billion), WhatsApp ($ 19 billion) and Oculus VR ($ 2 billion). Facebook acquired these two companies in 2014.
In this list, we can also cite LiveRail (around 410 million euros) and Threadsy, the cost of which has not been disclosed.
Facebook and VR
Facebook has of course integrated the world of virtual reality following the acquisition of Oculus VR, the company behind VR headsets Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest, in 2014. From the launch of the Rift to the release of the current Quest 2, the firm has traveled a long road.
Much progress in a short time
The Rift, as the first true consumer VR headset, therefore entered the market in 2016 after 4 years of development. It was in the middle of these 4 years that Facebook The eye of the acquis la startup VR.
That same year, the film Henry, an Oculus Story Studio work and first VR film, won a Emmy Award. The Oculus Connect 3 conference was also held in 2016 where Oculus presented a lot of new features, including theOculus Touch. The latter came out shortly after.
The year 2017 was then marked by the official launch of the virtual reality adventure game. Lone Echo. The same goes for the first competitive VR game Echo Arena. In 2018, Oculus launched Oculus Start. It is a free program developed to encourage independent developers to work with the platform. The autonomous VR headset Oculus Go was launched this year.
The novelties of recent years
Le 21 mai 2019, Facebook and Oculus have revolutionized the world of virtual reality by launching the standalone VR headset dubbed Quest. At the same time, they released the Oculus Rift S. The two companies also took the opportunity to launch the famous rhythm game in VR. Beat Saber on Quest.
In September of the same year, developers generated no less than € 8.2 million of income on the Oculus Store. The year 2019 was also marked by the launch of the action-RPG Asgard’s Wrath as well as the release of the beta version of Oculus Link.
The same goes for the acquisition of Beat Games, the studio behind Beat Saber, by Facebook, and the launch of the hand tracking on Quest. As for the year 2020, it was especially marked by the official release of the Quest 2. The Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed games have also been announced on the Quest platform. For the current year, 1 in 3 of the latter has now finally generated no less than 820,000 euros in income.
Virtual reality: huge potential for Facebook
Although it is not yet the case, VR is emerging as the most important element for users to conduct their daily activities. The current pandemic has only improved things for players in the sector, including Facebook. Indeed, sales of the Quest 2 experienced a considerable increase lately.
Thanks to this, Zuckerberg’s firm can focus a little more on creating more VR content. Currently, she is developing social spaces in VR and development tools accessible to all, among others. It even develops collaboration tools for professionals.
In short, virtual reality has enormous potential, and thus offers players in the sector various opportunities that they will absolutely have to seize.