In the third quarter of 2015, Facebook reported that over 1.5 billion people per month are active on the social network and even more than a billion browse through their timelines each day. Thus, Marc Zuckerberg's company is the undisputed number one of all of the social networks.
As the CEO of Facebook also operates the most important platforms for messaging and photos, with WhatsApp and Instagram, you might think that the goal had been reached. But just like Google or Amazon, Facebook does not want to focus on just one area, but would like to expand into other areas of technology, designed to ensure a dominant position in the next few decades. One of the objectives is particularly ambitious, because Facebook wants nothing less than to bring the Internet to every last corner of the globe.
Internet for the world – Aquila is flying the Internet to remote regions
With the use of a drone called Aquila, Facebook wants to make sure that even people in the middle of the jungle or in the desert can not only log in to the social network, but can access the entire Internet. At an altitude of 20,000 metres, the drone, which is as heavy as a car and has the wingspan of a Boeing, should ensure that Internet signals can be sent and collected. The first test flights have apparently already taken place. Economically underdeveloped regions could access the World Wide Web with this drone, even if it has not been previously possible via satellite or cable. Some four billion people would benefit from this vision and because the drone will be brought into the air by a helium balloon, it could then remain in the air for months, operated by solar power, which would mean a fundamental shift for the affected areas.
This completely new form of globalisation would not only be interesting for users of GPS in the rain forest, but could also lead to the economic upswing of remote villages. After all, the Internet will not just enable them to reach the next large city, but to reach the whole world. Translated online shopping sites will provide a global interest, and regional delicacies or handicrafts can then be offered online all over the world. But bringing the Internet to the world is not the only vision that Facebook would like to realise.
Video glasses are to bring virtual reality into everyday life
Facebook has bought another vision of the future with the company Oculus VR. HMD (Head Mounted Displays) should change interaction between people in the future. The small displays play the content directly in front of the human eye, and because of the physical proximity, the viewer is almost entirely immersed in a virtual world. From providing tourist information to virtual training and x-ray vision, the possibilities are endless. In order for the users of virtual worlds to feel comfortable in them, computer programmes are required that are able to learn, and this is the third vision that the CEO of Facebook is sharing with his staff.
Machine learning is an area of artificial intelligence that Facebook is working intensively on. The company wants to improve the user experience on its platforms and find out what content people are especially interested in. An economic reason is of course behind the idea, because anyone who feels good and is curious will gladly pay for the services.
Conclusion: These visions are still in their infancy, but we should be excited about the direction in which the world is developing and in particular how European companies will react if the Big Three of the Internet take the future into their own hands.