Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The Layer Between You and the Future

Crack reporting from Buzzfeed’s Nitasha Tiku:

Augmented reality, virtual reality, live video, 360-degree video, artificial intelligence, business bots. You name it; Facebook is about to offer you a free way to start testing it, whether that’s APIs, the kind of connective software that lets 1-800-FLOWERS make its own app on Facebook Messenger, or hardware that turned the melting heap of cameras necessary to film 360-degree video into a sleek mini-spaceship of a camera that Facebook launched at the end of today’s keynote.

Facebook doesn’t have to choose between messaging or virtual reality. It just colonizes both platforms, figures it out, offers a helping hand to the advertisers, publishers, and e-tailers considering joining, and makes itself indispensable (for a cut).

The last time I can recall a company having anything like Facebook’s drive for dominance was the Microsoft of the ’90s and early ’00s. At the time, they abused their monopoly power in software, from operating systems to applications and web browsers. Facebook is stretching itself overtop a multitude of technologies; it wants to be the start-to-finish conduit for your life. The future will be brought to you by targeted advertising.