At the end of his “town hall”-style question-and-answer session today in Berlin, Mark Zuckerberg predicted that future gatherings will be streamed around the world in full 360 virtual reality, allowing people “to actually feel like they’re here, with this community.”
It was a fitting end to a wide-ranging discussion that touched on Facebook’s policy against hate speech, Zuckerberg’s opposition to a dislike button to supplement its new emoji reactions, his support for Germany’s leadership in addressing the ongoing refugee crisis, and even how Facebook is safeguarding its data from the “wrong governments.”
Throughout the talk, Zuckerberg returned several times to the theme that Facebook is only “one percent finished.” And by the way he was talking about the future of virtual reality, a lot of that remaining 99 percent may be Oculus Rift-compatible.
“If you go back 10 or 15 years on the internet most of what we shared was text … then when we got smartphones, we all had cameras … that became the primary way we shared online,” Zuckerberg said in response to a question about his priorities for virtual reality. “Now as mobile networks are getting better … we’re about to enter this era when videos are actually going to be the primary thing that we’re going to be sharing.”
“Text is good. Pictures help you capture even more. Videos help you capture even more. But you know, that’s not the end of the line.”
“What we’re eventually going to get is the ability to capture whole scenes — not just one still photo or a moving window video,” he said, citing NASA’s recent 360-degree video from the Mars Curiosity Rover as an example of how virtual reality can bring people places they never thought they would experience.
Though less exciting perhaps than taking us all to Mars, Zuckerberg’s prediction that even Facebook town halls would soon be “live 360” around the world received polite applause from the gathered crowd.
“I think that’s going to happen, and that’s going to be really powerful,” he said.
To watch the interaction, skip to the end of the video: