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Mark Zuckerberg just signed the death warrant for the smartphone

Matt Weinberger 
 It's no secret Mark Zuckerberg is pinning Facebook's prospects on augmented reality — technology that overlays digital imagery onto the real world, like Snapchat's signature camera filters.

At this year's F8 conference, taking place this week, Zuckerberg doubled down on the company's ambitious 10-year master plan, which was first revealed in 2016. According to this timeline, Facebook expects to turn artificial intelligence, ubiquitous internet connectivity, and virtual and augmented reality into viable parts of its business over the next decade.

The Facebook 10-year road map, first revealed in April 2016. Facebook

To accelerate the rise of augmented reality, a big part of the plan, Zuckerberg unveiled the Camera Effects platform — basically a set of tools for outside developers to build augmented-reality apps that you can access from the existing Facebook app's camera. That would theoretically open the door for Facebook to host the next phenomenon like "Pokémon Go."

Mark Zuckerberg shows off the Facebook Camera Effects platform, which lets developers make augmented-reality apps like this Nike one that lets you share your run times with friends. Getty

While this announcement seems pretty innocuous, make no mistake — Facebook is once again putting itself into direct competition with Google and Apple, trying to create yet another parallel universe of apps and tools that don't rely on the smartphones' marketplaces. As The New York Times notes, Zuckerberg has long been disappointed that Facebook never built a credible smartphone operating system of its own.

This time, though, Facebook is also declaring war on pretty much everyone else in the tech industry, too. While it'll take at least a decade to fully play out, the stuff Facebook is talking about today is just one more milestone on the slow march toward the death of the smartphone and the rise of even weirder and wilder futures.

Why buy a TV?
Zuckerberg tipped his hand, just a bit, during Tuesday's Facebook F8 keynote. During a demo of the company's vision for augmented reality — in the form of a pair of easy-to-wear, standard-looking glasses — he showed how you could have a virtual "screen" in your living room, bigger than your biggest TV.

"We don't need a physical TV. We can buy a $1 app 'TV' and put it on the wall and watch it," Zuckerberg told USA Today ahead of his keynote. "It's actually pretty amazing when you think about how much of the physical stuff we have doesn't need to be physical."

Zuckerberg says the goal is to release glasses, like these, that can project virtual objects like chessboards or even TVs onto what you see. Facebook

That makes sense, assuming you're into the idea of wearing a computer on your face (and you're OK with Facebook intermediating everything you see and hear, glitches and all).

But it's not just TVs. This philosophy could extend to smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, fitness trackers, or anything else that has a screen or relies on one to work. Zuckerberg even showed off a street art installation that's just a blank wall until you wave the Facebook camera app over it to reveal a mural.

For Microsoft, which has already dipped its toe in this area with its HoloLens holographic goggles, this is a foregone conclusion. HoloLens boss Alex Kipman recently called the demise of the smartphone the "natural conclusion" of augmented reality and its associated technologies.

War of the worlds
The problem, naturally, is that a huge chunk of the world's economy hinges on the production of phones, TVs, tablets, and all those other things that Facebook thinks could be replaced with this technology.

Even Zuckerberg acknowledges it's a long road ahead. That said, this Camera Effects platform, should it succeed in attracting a bunch of users, could go down as a savvy move. The apps that are built for the Facebook Camera today could wind up as the first versions of the apps you'd use with those glasses.

Microsoft's futuristic HoloLens goggles provide an early look at Facebook's goal. Microsoft

In the short term, Facebook's play for augmented reality is going to look a lot like competing with Snapchat — and in a meaningful way, it is. Facebook needs developer and user love, so it needs to keep offering fun and funny tools to keep people from moving away from using its apps.

In the long term, though, this is Facebook versus everybody else to usher in an age of a new kind of computing — and pretty much every tech company out there will get caught in the crossfire, as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and more rush out their responses to this extremely existential, but still meaningful, threat.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Business Insider

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3 Signs You have a Terrible Personal Brand on Social Media

A few months ago I started my Masters in Digital Media and I decided to blog about my experience and the way I view the world from the perspective of a Digital Media Masters student and a practitioner of Digital Media. One of the things ‘grind my gears’ is when I see entrepreneurs and personalities ignoring the most basics of Social Media Personal Branding. Honestly, I don’t think I am in the position or have the authority to judge per se since I too sometimes miss the mark .I am no expert, however, I think Social Media can have a positive impact on building a brand. Yet most people ignore it.

Personal branding expert, Karen Leland stated that there are three specific ways that almost everyone can benefit from social media

 

1-     Enhance brand recognition and thought leadership- The more frequently you show up on social media, the greater your brand exposure and the more recognizable and credible your business become.

2-     Increased trust through leveraged credibility- If consumers trust you they more they are willing to recommend you

3-     Gives you a competitive advantage- If someone is looking to choose between you and your competition for a service and you have an active brand on social media, you will most likely be the one that gets chosen.

 

Below are three basic branding principles that, if ignored, most likely than not results in the creation of a terrible brand. Yes I said terrible.

 

1-     No or poor photo and brand identity- For some strange reason, some businesses and entrepreneurs believe that they do not need a profile photo. It doesn’t matter which profile you are on; this is a must have. A profile with a profile image will get more click than one without. Besides, people will trust you more when they can see you. If your profile picture is not consistent across all social media platforms, people may not trust you. Ensure your photo is up to date, no a pic of a dragon is not appropriate, just a headshot of the real authentic you smiling and looking forward.

2-     No or poorly written Bio- Ok, so your profile picture may attract someone to your profile, but it's your bio that will get them excited about you. Use up all your characters, don’t be afraid. Different platforms have different character limits so craft a bio to suit the different platforms. Also, show people who you are, if you founded a company; say that, if you spent five years helping companies sell online; say just that, be specific, not general. Don’t lie though and don’t fake your achievements; real recognizes real, and people will sniff out your BS from a distance. Use keywords so people can find you easily.

3-     No Background- Ok, this one bothers me, most platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to upload a background. See my different backgrounds below; I am feeling myself, and I got them done on Fiverr for five dollars each. According to Leland, your background is a visual display of your bio and a personal branding best practice. Use your background to promote your brand, customize it to suit you, if you are an author, put your books on there, just ensure it tells the story of who you are.

Ok, I will stop here, for now, these are some of the very basics of what I recommend for building a brand on Social Media. You can get fancier if you want to, there are a lot of information online that can help you build your personal brand.

 Kimron Corion Kimron Corion
Digital Media Specialist • Fernie Youth Service

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