Saturday, March 2, 2024
HometechnologyCan Facebook monetize the virtual world?

Can Facebook monetize the virtual world?

Facebook may have been late to move into mobile, but with Tuesday's $2 billion deal to buy virtual reality company Oculus, analysts say it is well-placed to profit from another platform of the future.

Gaming enthusiasts may fondly remember attempts to deliver virtual reality in the 1990s, but it's the potential for education, advertising, communications and an immersive social platform that sent tongues wagging after Facebook's announcement.

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"This is them (Facebook) making a bet that the future could be radically different," Jon Steinberg, president of social news and entertainment website BuzzFeed, told CNBC.

(Read more: Facebook buys Oculusfor $2 billion)

"This is going to be a way you engage with the internet, in a 3-D way at your desk, in an immersive environment."

Oculus is best known for its virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, which gained momentum after the company raised more than $2.4 million in a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. The hardware has received 75,000 orders to date, but is currently only available to developers and not consumers.

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