What is the future of Facebook
Facebook: What Zuckerberg's 10-Year Plan Means for Investors
The social network Facebook shone again with strong figures in the most recent quarter. Sales grew by 52% to US $ 5.38 billion, and profits tripled compared to the previous year to US $ 1.5 billion - the upward trend in Facebook shares continued.
Facebook now has 1.65 billion active users who are also spending more and more time on the social network. While Facebook users spent 18 minutes a day on Facebook in 2013, it was 21 minutes in 2015. Market researchers from eMarketer estimate that this value should increase to 23 minutes per day by 2018.
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg wants to keep his users engaged with a 10-year plan - but what does this roadmap mean for investors?
Facebook: The 10-year plan of the social network under the microscope
In the next 3 to 5 years, Facebook products such as Facebook Video, Facebook Groups, the Facebook search engine, as well as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram should play the central role and ensure increasing sales and profits.
For the next 5 to 10 years, Facebook is relying on 3 pillars that should ensure further growth: Connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual or augmented reality (virtual realities).
With connectivity 5 billion users in sight by 2030
The connectivity area includes solutions such as the free mobile internet access service Free Basics, as well as internet satellites and flight drones such as the Aquila. In this way, Zuckerberg wants to bring the Internet to even more people and thus also achieve his long-term goal of 5 billion Facebook users by 2030.
Artificial intelligence is supposed to expand the Facebook Messenger
Artificial intelligence (AI) is no less important. Here, self-learning bots, i.e. small robot programs, are intended to assist the user. These so-called messenger bots should play an important role in Facebook Messenger in the future. Around 900 million registered Facebook Messenger users currently send around 60 billion messages per day - an ideal playground for automated bots.
First examples from practice show the benefits of these robot programs. The online flower delivery service 1-800-Flowers, for example, has set up a bot that takes orders via the messenger - this should make the ordering process easier and make calls to customer service a thing of the past.
Virtual reality as the computer platform of the future
The area of virtual and augmented reality (VR / AR) should also play a central role on Facebook in 5 to 10 years. Zuckerberg sees virtual reality platforms around the Facebook subsidiary Oculus as a future computer platform that could displace the smartphone and other hardware, such as the television, in the distant future.
Areas of application here are not only innovative 3D games, but also virtual travel guides with which tourists can find out about the destination in advance.
Conclusion: 10-year plan tends to make Facebook stronger
It will take years before that happens and the high investments in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and connectivity solutions pay off for the company and its investors.
Investors must expect that company boss Mark Zuckerberg will continue to aggressively invest in Facebook's 10-year plan, which could temporarily put a strain on earnings and profit margins.
In the medium to long term, Facebook is likely to further strengthen its position among social networks with its 10-year plan, with which the company could achieve a similar dominant position in this market as Amazon.com in online trading or Google in the search engine market. Investors should therefore definitely have Facebook on their watch list.
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