Facebook, a social media service now owned by Meta, was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard students and roommates Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCollum, and Eduardo Saverin. Since the company was founded some seventeen years ago, it has moved far beyond a simple social networking platform into related industries such as virtual reality, web analytics, artificial intelligence, and even solar-powered drones.
Oculus is a producer of virtual and augmented reality hardware and software that was originally founded in 2012 by Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe, Michael Antonov, and Nate Mitchell. The first product Oculus released was Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset for video gaming.
Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014 for $2.3 billion in cash and stock – the company’s second-largest acquisition behind WhatsApp. Since that time, Oculus itself has spurned subsidiaries of its own such as 3D scene mapping company Surreal Vision and American video game developer Sanzaru Games.
Ready at Dawn
Ready at Dawn is a California-based video game developer that is composed of former employees of Blizzard Entertainment and Naughty Dog. The developer is perhaps best known for the titles Daxter and God of War, and now operates a separate campus in Oregon to further its development ambitions.
Ready at Dawn is another Oculus subsidiary that was acquired in June 2020 to create virtual reality titles for the platform.
Giphy is a database of short looping videos that social media users in visual communication. The database, which was launched in 2013 by Jace Cooke and Alex Chung, started as a search engine for the more primitive GIF. Various apps and acquisitions were made over the following years as Giphy became increasingly integrated with social media.
The platform passed 200 million daily active users in 2017 and was acquired by Facebook three years later for $400 million. However, the deal attracted scrutiny in the United Kingdom for anticompetitive behavior and because of Facebook’s recent privacy scandals. In late 2021, antitrust regulators in the UK ordered the company to divest Giphy. This is a decision that Facebook has decided to appeal.
Kustomer is a CRM platform that Facebook acquired toward the end of 2020. The omnichannel platform can show customer conversations from multiple channels in a single view and became a useful tool for small businesses that advertised and sold on Facebook. Kustomer is also used by larger clients such as Sweetgreen, Glossier, and Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
In addition to the CRM platform, Kustomer also offers chatbots that use artificial intelligence to interpret customer intent, enable self-service, and resolve queries more efficiently.
In March 2014, Facebook acquired solar-powered drone manufacturer Ascenta for $20 million. The move was seen as a response to Google’s purchase of a similar company as part of a race to connect remote locations around the world to the internet.
As part of the deal, Ascenta and its specialist staff joined a team of scientists and engineers as part of Facebook’s Internet.org non-profit to beam the internet to the world from the sky.
- Since Facebook was founded some seventeen years ago, it has moved far beyond a simple social networking platform into related industries such as virtual reality, web analytics, artificial intelligence, and even solar-powered drones.
- Facebook subsidiaries include virtual reality software and hardware company Oculus, which now has several video game development subsidiaries of its own.
- Solar-powered drone manufacturer Ascenta and CRM platform Kustomer are also Facebook subsidiaries. Facebook also acquired animated video platform Giphy in 2020, but the deal was considered anticompetitive and it remains to be seen as to whether the company will have to divest.
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