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Facebook boss details ‘video first’ focus

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressed the company’s commitment to video as the company announced bumper second quarter results.

Detailing its figures for the three months ending June 30, Zuckerberg said “we’re particularly pleased with our progress in video as we move towards a world where video is at the heart of all our services,” and outlined plans to become a “video first” business.

The comments came as Facebook reported revenue of US$6.44 billion (€5.85 billion), a 59% year-on-year increase. Of this, US$6.24 billion came from advertising, with mobile advertising accounting for 84% of ad revenues. Net income was up a massive 186% to US$2.06 billion.

Speaking on the company’s earnings call, Zuckerberg said: “Right now, the big theme and strategy that we’re executing is we’re going to become video first.”

Ten years ago, he said, most of what was shared online was text, followed by a phase of mostly sharing photos. He predicted that in roughly five years online video will be what most people consume online.

“That means that there needs to be a whole range of new production tools and consumption experiences for enabling that,” said Zuckerberg.

Looking ahead, the Facebook CEO hinted at an “even more native and default video experience” in the Facebook newsfeed, building on the autoplay functionality that it first rolled out for videos in 2013.

He also said that this video experience would be introduced “across all of our apps”, including “private areas” like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

In terms of video production, Zuckerberg said that Facebook aimed to improve the process for capturing and uploading videos, making this a “more central part of the experience”.

If Facebook succeeds in these efforts, “it’s going to unlock a lot of sharing and opportunities,” he said.

Discussing live video specifically, Zuckerberg said this was an area that Facebook had been “particularly focused on” in the past six months, highlighting Facebook Live viral hit, ‘Candace Payne’s Chewbacca mask video’, as a clip that was viewed almost 160 million times in the quarter.

Virtual reality is another technology that Facebook has put its support behind, and while it is still early days, Zuckerberg said “we’re hitting some important milestones” in this space.

“As of the second quarter, more than 1 million people a month are now using Oculus on mobile phones through our Gear VR partnership with Samsung,” said Zukerberg.

“More than 300 apps are already available at the Oculus store for Gear VR. We filled all of our preorders for Oculus Rift and we’re seeing increasing demand from retail stores planned for the holidays.