With Mother's Day coming up, Facebook is taking the opportunity to promote the value of its Portal smart video calling device, as a means to stay connected with family in a more immersive, engaging way.
As explained by Facebook:
"Many of us may spend Mother’s Day apart this year, but Portal gives us a way to celebrate and connect with family and friends virtually. And it lets you feel like you’re in the same room together - even when you’re miles away."
The promotion will look to build on the growth momentum of Portal, which has been fueled by the pandemic.
Over the past year, sales of Facebook's Portal device have steadily increased, with more people looking to stay connected amid the various COVID-19 mitigation measures. Initially, when Portal was first launched, there was a lot of opposition to the smart video device, and to bringing a Facebook-connected camera into your home, but over time, Portal is gradually becoming a more significant element in Facebook's hardware efforts, which provides the company with even more connection opportunities.
Indeed, in looking over Facebook's most recent performance update, you can see that Facebook's 'Other Revenue' category (i.e. revenue not from ads) has seen a big jump of late.
That increase has been driven primarily by sales of its Oculus VR headsets and its Portal device, which underlines the rising opportunities for the company in expanding into these new areas.
And now, Facebook's looking to boost that even further with this new promotional push.
"During the week leading up to Mother’s Day, we’re hosting conversations with influencers on topics including: body positivity, IVF, adoption, autism, work-life balance and more. And to help moms and mother figures better connect with their families and friends, we’re offering a $30 USD discount on Portal TV and a $50 USD discount on both Portal and Portal+, now through May 9th. We also created a new TV spot called “Rugby Hold,” highlighting how Portal’s Smart Camera gives you the freedom to focus on mom and baby - and not on the technology."
It's interesting to see how Facebook is shifting focus onto the Portal device, and how Portal is rising to become a more significant element in the company's broader product suite.
Facebook still generates the vast majority of its revenue from online ads, there's no threat there, but as it continues to grow into new hardware elements, that opens up new avenues for the company to explore, which will continue with the arrival of its AR glasses, the first iteration of which will likely become available later this year.
That will see Facebook expand its presence in our day-to-day lives - which could be a good or bad thing, dependent on your perspective. But either way, it's happening, and it'll be interesting to see how the company looks to expand its ad tools and offerings on the back of these new hardware elements.