Facebook Swallows Up Oculus Rift

Tom Novak

So today we learned that Facebook bought Oculus VR for $2 billion.  That’s a lot less than the $19 billion Facebook paid for WhatsApp, and in my opinion Oculus Rift is a much more exciting product than WhatsApp with a lot more long term potential. I’m just not super excited that it’s Facebook that now controls Oculus Rift.

Oculus-RiftWhat does Zuckerberg have in mind?  In a statement, he talks about immersive gaming (let’s hope he isn’t thinking VR Farmville!) but goes on to say “after games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.”

But is Zuckerberg implying we can all look forward to spending time in virtual reality…

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Depressed by Facebook and WhatsApp

Tom Novak

I find Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp to be incredibly depressing. While you can argue that Facebook is paying “only” $42 for each of WhatsApp’s 450 million plus users, paying $19 billion for a 55 employee company that runs a messaging app just smells … very wrong.

http://arnoldzwicky.org/2011/08/20/munch-up-to-date/ http://arnoldzwicky.org/2011/08/20/munch-up-to-date/

The first thought that comes to mind is, Facebook – why couldn’t you have figured this out yourself? This isn’t rocket science. Facebook has evolved into a bloated mess that ignores the concepts of usability. I see little resemblance between my desktop, iPhone, and iPad Facebook experiences. Facebook doesn’t guarantee that your friends will see your posts (in fact EdgeRank guarantees that most of your friends won’t see your posts) so now you have the added insult of Facebook asking you to pay to ensure that your posts will be seen. I don’t even enjoy using Facebook anymore. So why be surprised…

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Is Social Media Becoming an Advertising Wasteland? #deathofsocialmedia

Professor Donna L. Hoffman

facebook sponsored storiesI’ve been wondering lately about the long-term viability of social media stalwarts like Facebook, Twitter and maybe even LinkedIn. Based on my research with Tom Novak, I think a strong case can be made that most people use these sites and apps to connect with others and to create and consume digital content. In the context of these experiences, ads are an interruption to the flow that characterizes the best of these experiences.

Let’s look at Facebook. In the early days, group pages, banner ads and sponsored links – being typical and familiar – were pretty unobtrusive. Easy to ignore and totally up to the consumer whether she would visit, join or click. Even as the advertising got more sophisticated with geodemo targeting of sidebar ads (penile size enhancements, anyone?), it was still pretty easy to go on about your digital life with a minimum of advertiser intrusion. Yet…

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