Could Facebook’s dreams change your business?

Joanne Nelson, VP International Marketing at Logicalis, considers how Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg’s vision for the future of the business could affect the wider business community in the years to come.

Last week, at the company’s annual F8 developer event in San Francisco, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg shared his vision for the future.

If some of his views appear a touch ‘blue sky’, it’s worth remembering that fifteen years ago Facebook did not exist, neither did Youtube – imagine explaining that reality to anyone under twenty five.

Given the extent to which these services have changed the world over the last 15 years, there is no doubt that CIOs and their colleagues should take the time to consider how Zuckerburg’s view of the future could affect their business. To get the ball rolling I have identified three that I think are worthy of consideration:

  1. WiFi pilotless plane – Facebook is developing solar powered drones (Aquila project) that will beam wireless internet access to remote parts of the world – this raises questions about opportunities to expand markets and operations in hitherto inaccessible areas. http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/07/31/the-aquila-facebooks-first-drone-for-internet-org/
  2. 360-degree camera – This summer Facebook will release design and code for an open source 360-degree camera system. This will help create more pictorial and video content for its Oculus system. Already Dell, Asus, Microsoft and Samsung are marketing ‘Oculus Ready’ hardware. https://www.oculus.comBusinesses should be asking themselves whether (and how) this would allow them to present products and services in a totally new way.
  3. Messenger bots – Over 900 million people and 50 million businesses use the Facebook messenger system. The introduction of ‘bots’ will allow them to automate customer services and communications with their customers and prospects.For some executives Facebook messenger is the app that stands between them and eye contact with their children – but it cannot be ignored. Marketing and customer services leaders in particular should be asking how these bots could be used to automate and streamline routine comms – in turn, IT should be asking how they could be supported and managed.

Facebook MessengerHowever these technologies eventually turn out, and whether or not they create opportunities for business, Zuckerburg’s comments should serve to remind us that change is now the status quo. There is always going to be something on the horizon that presents opportunity or challenge. Whether Facebook’s vision comes to fruition or not, a variation on the themes above will emerge, if not from the Facebook empire, then somewhere else.

That is well worth remembering.

So take time out to consider how and if you can gain advantage and value from Facebook’s aspirations, however wild they may seem. As Mark Zuckerburg said at the F8 launch: “If you had told me Facebook was going to build a plane I would have said you were crazy.”

Tags IT Leadership, Strategy, Wi-fi, Social, IT Trends, Facebook, Business Strategy

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