uploads///Facebook VR

A Look at Facebook’s Virtual Reality Ambitions

Sanmit Amin - Author
By

Aug. 18 2020, Updated 4:44 a.m. ET

Mark Zuckerberg hopes to see 1 billion people on virtual reality

Facebook (FB) is confident that it can make virtual reality popular, despite the tepid response from consumers so far. Facebook spent more than $2 billion to acquire Oculus, as the company is trying to diversify its revenue stream.

According to research firm Canalys’ forecasts, only 2 million virtual reality headsets were sold worldwide in 2016, with Facebook’s Oculus selling only 400,000 units. However, Facebook has not publicly disclosed how many Oculus headsets have been shipped.

Canalys expects these shipments to increase over the next few years, global virtual reality shipments should reach just 20 million headsets by 2020, as the chart above shows.

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Facebook pushing hard into virtual reality

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, announced during the week ended October 13 that the company wants to see a billion people use virtual reality. However, the timeline for that goal was not specified.

Facebook’s latest move was to unveil the Oculus Go headset, which starts at $199 and is expected to hit the stores in early 2018. Earlier this year, the social media giant hired the former global vice president at Xiaomi, Hugo Berra, to head the company’s Virtual Reality business.

Oculus’s main competitors in virtual reality include Sony (SNE) and HTC, which are well ahead of Oculus in terms of shipments.

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