So, this past week Facebook acquired virtual reality wunderkind Oculus Rift for $2 billion in cash and stock. For Oculus, this is a huge win in a succession of huge wins. For Facebook, this is a long-term bet that may or may not pay off.
Oculus Rift gained prominence as the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever, raising $2 million in 2012 and $91 million in venture funding later. The headset is purported to be one of the most incredible virtual reality experiences available, according to Mashable. For a cool price of $2 billion, that’s an incredible turnaround.
For Facebook, this is not the first time they’ve dropped a huge amount of money on a tech startup. Earlier this year Facebook bought messaging service WhatsApp for $16 billion, so $2 billion for Oculus must seem like spare change. Mark Zuckerberg calls this move “a longterm bet on the future of computing.” In essence, it seems like this was just a move for ownership, and neither Oculus or Facebook will change much because of it.
This all may be true, but as far as the future of Facebook as a company, this may not have been the best investment. With the loss of Facebook’s “Cool Factor” amongst young people, it’s hard to see what Zuckerberg is justifying this purchase with. However, we will see how the purchase plays out and pays off in the future of Facebook.
What Sparks Our Fire: Watching how companies prepare for the future is important for us as advertisers. Seeing the ebb and flow of technology is what prepares us for the next big thing.
Have you tried an Oculus Rift?