How Mark Zuckerberg Is Shaping the Future of Facebook, Social Media

How Mark Zuckerberg Is Shaping the Future of Facebook, Social Media
Social Networking Is Still the Foundation
Video Is Rising as a Core Service
Don't Forget the Importance of Messaging
Facebook Putting Artificial Intelligence to Work
Zuckerberg Believes in Virtual Reality
He Sees Growth Potential in Emerging Economies
Low-Cost Web Connectivity Is a Way to Reach Those Markets
Zuckerberg Wants to Reach Corporate Users Too
He Loves the Idea of Augmented Reality
Does Zuckerberg Want to Move to the Political Stage?
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How Mark Zuckerberg Is Shaping the Future of Facebook, Social Media

Facebook is no longer just a social network. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expanding his empire to include virtual reality, messaging, video and much more.

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Social Networking Is Still the Foundation

During his F8 conference keynote address in April, Zuckerberg talked at length about many upcoming apps and services. But the foundation of his talk was still social networking. Zuckerberg firmly believes that social networking is the ideal way to use the Web to connect people around the globe and to consume all of the other content they might desire, including news, video and more. That also makes it an ideal marketing platform for companies that want to sell products and services to millions of Facebook users.

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Video Is Rising as a Core Service

While YouTube is still a popular video platform, Facebook has quickly become the go-to destination for video content. Facebook has been encouraging users to upload their video content for years, but is now expanding its live streaming to compete with the likes of Twitter's Periscope. Facebook wants to become the most desirable home for personal videos, breaking out of YouTube's massive shadow.

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Don't Forget the Importance of Messaging

If Zuckerberg's talk at F8 and his acquisitions in recent years have said anything, it's that messaging is important to Facebook's future. With WhatsApp, Zuckerberg is illustrating a clear vision for personal privacy with end-to-end encryption. With Facebook Messenger, Zuckerberg is showcasing his belief that people want to communicate easily through his social platform. In Zuckerberg's worldview, messaging isn't going anywhere.

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Facebook Putting Artificial Intelligence to Work

Artificial intelligence has taken on a new, important role in Zuckerberg's mind. At F8, he unveiled support for chat bots in Facebook Messenger, allowing people to talk to machines that can intelligently respond to requests. Saying AI will play a role in all facets of his company's operation in the coming years, Zuckerberg is falling in line with other prominent executives, like Tesla's Elon Musk, who believe that AI is critical to future success.

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Zuckerberg Believes in Virtual Reality

If Facebook's Oculus VR acquisition and its subsequent announcement of a Surround 360 platform designed to help companies build cameras to create 360-degree content are any indication, Zuckerberg believes in the future of virtual reality. The Oculus Rift, coupled with 360-degree video support on Facebook, presents an interesting opportunity for Facebook to be at the center of what many analysts believe is a potential boon for the technology industry.

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He Sees Growth Potential in Emerging Economies

With Facebook's Free Basics platform, Zuckerberg argues that his company, along with partners, is doing what it can to get people in emerging markets online. He has extolled the virtues of the program, saying it builds a more-informed society and helps people do business. The program's future will ultimately depend on Zuckerberg's ability to handle political troubles he didn't deal with so well in India. But he believes offering a free, easy way for people to access the Internet is important.

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Low-Cost Web Connectivity Is a Way to Reach Those Markets

In addition to Free Basics, Zuckerberg has talked about delivering Internet connectivity to disparate parts of the world. Facebook wants to beam the Internet to underserved areas through the use of drones and satellites, among other technologies. Simply put, Zuckerberg thinks that Facebook could eventually be an Internet service provider to underserved areas.

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Zuckerberg Wants to Reach Corporate Users Too

With its Facebook At Work platform, Facebook is looking to expand its presence in the enterprise. The service provides a way for teams to collaborate, chat individually or in groups, and handle all facets of an event. Facebook might have started as a platform for college students, but in the future, it could also be a desirable collaboration service for corporate users.

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He Loves the Idea of Augmented Reality

In a recent feature in Fast Company, Zuckerberg and his team talked up the possibility of Facebook investing heavily in augmented reality. More specifically, the team believes that Facebook could create a product that would overlay Internet-based, virtual elements on the real world to create an entirely different user experience, similar to Microsoft's HoloLens.

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Does Zuckerberg Want to Move to the Political Stage?

While he hasn't said so publicly, it's possible that Zuckerberg could eventually seek political office. In a recent government filing, Facebook issued a new type of shares that would allow Zuckerberg to hand over his wealth to charities without losing control of his company. In addition, the filing paved a path for the CEO to temporarily leave his post if he sought public office. It was the first time Facebook floated the idea, but it is notable and something we might see the 32-year-old explore at some point as he looks to help the world.

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