When Facebook spent $2 billion on Oculus last year, it was a serious bet that virtual reality has a big future. In discussing second quarter earnings today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained how it fits in with the social network’s long-term strategy:
We’re going through a period where now it’s mostly visual and photos. We are entering into a period where that’s going to increasingly be primarily videos, and we’re seeing huge growth there. But that’s not the end of the line, right? I mean, there’s always a richer way that people want to share and consume thoughts and ideas, and I think that immersive 3D content is the obvious next thing after video.
But don’t expect to virtually take that vacation with your bestie quite yet. When Oculus launches in early 2016, Zuckerberg expects the platform to first take off with gaming and video.
“Once we start to get more critical mass, I think we can get social applications, which is what we as a company are more interested in over the long term and think have a huge amount of potential.”
As to when virtual reality will finally become mainstream, Zuckerberg has said in the past that it might “take five, seven, 10, I don’t know, maybe 12 years.”