Services/apps mobile

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg: Pokémon Go Fan

Mark Zuckerberg sees Pokémon Go as part of the bigger future of online sharing, and Facebook itself.

"I, like everyone else, am enjoying Pokémon Go," the Facebook CEO said when asked about the game on Wednesday's quarterly earnings call. But it's not just fun for Zuck -- he sees Pokémon Go as an example of augmented reality, which, along with virtual reality and regular old video, are the future of online sharing, and of Facebook.

"One of the big things we talk about here is becoming video first, as people look for richer and richer ways to express themselves," Zuckerberg said.

Augmented reality provides value through games like Pokémon Go, by providing location-based information, and through apps such as face filters that change a person's facial appearance in photos, Zuckerberg said.

As for virtual reality: More than 1 million people are currently using Oculus Rift on phones, Zuckerberg said.

But AR and VR are long-range bets. Video will soon become the primary way that people share information, replacing text in the past and images today, Zuckerberg said.

Facebook is looking to stay on top of that trend. For the past six months., it has focused on live video. For one, whimsical example: Candace Payne's self-filmed Facebook video of herself laughing heartily while wearing a Chewbacca mask has been viewed 160 million times, Zuckerberg noted.

More seriously, recent political conventions, as well as live video of shootings of police in Dallas, and by police in Minnesota, have seen strong engagement as well.

Video needs are driving a big part of Facebook's projected capex for this year, CFO David Wehner said on the call. Earlier this year, Wehner projected capital expenditure on the high end of $4 billion to $4.5 billion.

Video is more taxing on the network, and impacts overall datacenter needs, such as servers, Wehner said.

Video content ranges from people posting about their personal lives to "some of the most sophisticated content producers in the world," including partnerships with the NBA for US men's Olympics teams, COO Sheryl Sandberg said. But Facebook's primary focus is on short-form video.

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New video habits, from short-form personal video and live video today to VR and AR in the future, are rocking traditional service providers' business, changing video consumption from a lean-back experience -- let's see what's happening on NCIS tonight -- to lean-forward. Or even, in the case of Pokémon Go and other AR apps, stand-up-and-walk-around.

Whatever the future holds, Wednesday was a good day for Facebook. The company reported $6.4 billion revenue in the second quarter ending June 30, up 59% year-over-year. Net income was $2 billion, up a whopping 186%, and diluted earnings per share were $0.71, up 184% year-over-year.

Other metrics:

  • Daily active users averaged 1.13 billion in June, up 17% year-over-year.
  • Mobile daily active users were 1.03 billion on average in June, up 22%.
  • Monthly active users were 1.71 billion as of June 30, up 15% year-over-year.
  • Mobile monthly active users were 1.57 billion as of June 30, up 20%.
  • Mobile ad revenues were about 84% over overall ad revenue, up from about 76% in the year-ago quarter.
  • Capital expenditures in the second quarter were $995 million.

Facebook stock traded at $129.19, up 4.7% after hours.

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— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud

Ninja88 8/22/2016 | 11:27:17 AM
My god This game and this social network are crazy! Thanks for the article.
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