Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has published its third quarter 2014 results, in which its revenues, growth and earnings have surpassed analyst expectations for the period. Notable in its report is a stark change in how the company monetizes its advertising network. First, ad impressions have fallen, but revenues per impression have increased, signifying improvements in quality and engagement. Second, mobile is on the rise, growing from almost 50% in Q3 2013 to 66% in the recent quarter. With an established collection of assets like WhatsApp and Instagram, Facebook is likewise set to make a big push for its cross-platform ad network throughout 2015.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailed the company’s near-, medium- and long-term strategies in an investor guidance call, and he says the company expects a drastic shift in computing platforms in 10 to 15 years’ time. Facebook is banking on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to play a big part. “Every 10 to 15 years, a new major computing platform arrives and we think that virtual and augmented reality are important parts of this upcoming next platform,” says Zuckerberg. He cites how Facebook is working closely with developers and device-makers like Samsung in order to shore up support for Oculus, the Rift and its VR platform.
Much work has to be done, however. “It needs to rich a very large sale — 50 million to 100 million units — before it will really be a very meaningful thing as a computing platform,” Zuckerberg says, regarding the traction that AR and VR needs in order to be considered relevant.
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