Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said that the largest social media network on the planet was initially slow to compete with Snapchat but has managed to recover from its inferior position on the market and is now running the most popular camera-focused sharing app on the planet. Zuckerberg's comments were made during a conference call with analysts and investors that Facebook held on Wednesday following its Q1 2017 earnings release, with the company's top executive saying that the Menlo Park-based social media giant is adamant to maintain its lead over Snapchat in the future.
While the main Facebook app still isn't a direct competitor to Snapchat, the company's social media service Instagram certainly is. Following Facebook's recent announcement that Instagram Stories boasts 200 million users — more than Snapchat has in total — the company introduced a broad range of new additions and changes to its online service that are designed with the goal of appealing to an even wider audience and helping the social network grow even further. Instagram currently has more than 700 million users and is seemingly on the right track to become the fourth Facebook-owned product that's used by more than a billion people on a monthly basis. While the platform was often criticized for copying Snapchat with ephemeral messaging features and augmented reality (AR) filters, some industry watchers believe that it managed to beat the Venice, Los Angeles-based social media giant at its own game, as evidenced by its user numbers.
During Facebook's latest earnings call, Zuckerberg also reflected on the future of AR and Facebook's upcoming offerings based on these solutions. The company's CEO said that Facebook is aiming to create the first AR ecosystem that enjoys mainstream adoption, adding that the firm still isn't focused on monetization and likely won't be for the foreseeable future. When pressed on the issue, Zuckerberg revealed that its AR platform might be monetized using a solution that's similar to Bixby Vision, i.e. a visual search that allows users to scan their surroundings for products which can then be purchased online. However, AR monetization still isn't a priority for Facebook and likely won't be until the California social media giant manages to grow its ecosystem even further, Zuckerberg implied.