Home Networking company Facebook plans to release its VR, AR business

Facebook plans to release its VR, AR business

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Facebook released its third quarter results on Monday.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Facebook didn’t get a new name as expected, but the social network unveiled a new reporting structure. On Monday, the social media giant announced that it will begin posting results as two companies: its main family of social media apps and its Facebook Reality Labs, which host its augmented and virtual reality efforts.

As part of the new structure, which will take effect for company earnings in the fourth quarter, Facebook will provide revenue and operating profit for its Family of Apps and Facebook Reality Labs businesses. The family of apps includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and other services, the social network said in a statement. Facebook Reality Labs will include augmented and virtual reality hardware, software, and content.

The company made the announcement as it reported mixed results in the third quarter.

The changed structure follows reports that Facebook is changing its name, a speculation that comes as the company grapples with damning allegations from whistleblowers that it prioritizes profits over security. Over the past few days, a media group has published a series of articles which suggest that the company is aware of the damage caused by its platforms to adolescent mental health, democracy and developing countries like India. The series, known as Facebook Papers, are based on thousands of documents collected by Francoise Haugen, a former product manager, who testified before Congress and Parliament about the company’s social media. The stories follow a similar Wall Street Journal project that was also based on documents leaked by Haugen.

In his first public remarks since the Facebook Papers articles, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he saw the reports as a “coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture” of the social network. The company, he said, tries to balance freedom of speech with reducing harmful content and reducing privacy. More than 40,000 people work on safety and security and the company is on track to devote more than $ 5 billion to these efforts this year, he said.

“The reality is that these issues are not primarily about our business, but about balancing different difficult social values,” Zuckerberg said.

The leaked documents have drawn close scrutiny from lawmakers, who are considering legislation to further empower companies like Facebook. Facebook’s global chief security officer Antigone Davis told a Senate subcommittee that the company has focused on updating child privacy regulations and other laws.

Haugen, who first emerged as Facebook’s whistleblower in October, said she saw conflicts of interest between Facebook’s business goals and user safety while at the company. Facebook said its internal research was misinterpreted.

The social network unveiled its change in reporting structure when publishing its third quarter results. The company reported third-quarter revenue of $ 29.01 billion, slightly lower than Wall Street expectations of $ 29.6 billion. Facebook earned $ 3.22 per share, beating analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimates of $ 3.18. Facebook had 2.91 billion monthly active users, up 6% from the same period last year.

Facebook has said it expects the coronavirus pandemic and Apple’s privacy changes to hurt its advertising business. Apple’s app tracking transparency requires users to allow apps to track their internet activity and has had a bigger impact on ad targeting than expected by many companies. Snap last week saw its stock drop by about a quarter after it missed revenue estimates and warned of slowing growth.

Facebook said it expects its fourth-quarter revenue to be between $ 31.5 billion and $ 34 billion, which is in line with estimates of $ 34.8 billion. The company’s shares are up 4% to $ 342.60 per share in after-hours trading.


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