Mark Zuckerberg Facebook


It’s not so much what you say, but what you snap — and how you trick it out.

“Photos and videos are becoming more central in what we share than the text,” said Facebook founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg, who offered his take on the future of the social network at its annual developers conference in San Jose, Calif.

Facebook recently added camera functionality to all of its apps, but Zuckerberg said that was just the start.

Now the tech giant, which has nearly 1.9 billion monthly active users, is starting in earnest to build the camera into what the ceo described as “the first mainstream augmented reality platform.”

Augmented reality has been in the air for some time and got its first big hit last year with Pokémon Go, a game in which users use their smartphones to chase digital creatures through the real world.

AR has also been used to superimpose cartoonish faces onto one’s own face in selfies — something that could become a bit more common now that Facebook has added that functionality to its own platform and encouraged developers to make thousands more options.

Zuckerberg also showed off a number of new ways users will be able to tweak their photos, for instance, adding sharks that appear to swim around a cereal bowl, literally livening up one’s Facebook feed.

He also showed off a digital art installation on a wall at the company’s offices that, when viewed on a smartphone, features an endless waterfall of paint that pours down and other 3-D animated features.

One side effect of this is that people are often milling around staring at what looks to the unaware observer a blank wall. He said that is something people will have to get used to seeing.

This is all leading to something bigger.

Zuckerberg pointed to a future when unobtrusive glasses or contact lenses would layer a digital world on top of the real world, making one’s TV a $5 VR app and not a $500 device.

He said the nature of work would also change: “In the future, I think that more of us are going to contribute to culture and society in ways that are not measured by economics or traditional GDP. A lot more of us are going to work in the arts.”

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